A lot of people have noted today’s news that New Mexico Democrat Manny Aragon was indicted yesterday by the guy who replaced David Iglesias. This was the indictment that Sen. Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Wilson (R-NM) wanted Iglesias to pop before the November election, to help Wilson head off the challenge from Democrat Patricia Madrid.
Now, the first thing to say is that I don’t know enough about the particulars of the Aragon case to comment on it specifically. But I will say that my assumption has always been that Iglesias was investigating this case as a very real and serious criminal inquiry and probably intended eventually to bring indictments. The article notes that three of the four people indicted had actually reached sealed plea deals earlier this year. So those may actually have been secured during Iglesias’s tenure.
However that may be, I would caution people against jumping to the conclusion that Iglesias’s successor has brought an indictment that Iglesias himself was unwilling to seek. Given how much wrongdoing we’ve found in this story I wouldn’t say it’s impossible either. But my impression has always been that the issue here was timing. Domenici and Wilson wanted Iglesias to rush an indictment in time for the election to help Wilson hold on to her House seat. He refused.
If we hear anything that indicates otherwise, we’ll let you know.