We already lost Abu Gonzales, Karl Rove, Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, Brad Schlozman, and Michael Elston. And now we’re losing Pete Domenici.

Veteran Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is expected to announce tomorrowthat he will retire from the Senate in 2008, according to severalinformed sources, a decision that further complicates an alreadydifficult playing field for Republicans next November.

Domenicihas struggled with health problems over the last several years and hasbeen dogged by questions about the role he may have played in thefiring of U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias in Albuquerque. As a result,he had been long been rumored as a potential retirement. Domenici’sSenate office did not return a call this afternoon, but sources closeto the senator say he will fly home to New Mexico tomorrow to make theannouncement that he is retiring.

[snip]

The Senate ethics committee is investigating Domenci for a phonecall he placed to then-federal prosecutor Iglesias last October in apossible attempt to pressure him to indict New Mexico Democrats in acorruption probe just before the November election. Shortly afterIglesias said he rebuffed Domenici, his name appeared on a list of U.S.attorneys to be fired that was compiled by top Justice Departmentaides. Iglesias was dismissed Dec. 7.

Republican insiders insist that Domenici’s decision to retire hadeverything to do with his health and nothing to do with poll numbers orthe U.S. attorney controversy. More to come on this opening tomorrow.

David lglesias, may your champagne tonight taste sweet.

emptywheel

emptywheel

Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.

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