Is the Department of Justice going back on its word about a report on its investigation into whether crimes were committed in the U.S. Attorney firings scandal?
When prosecutor Nora Dannehy was appointed to run the probe, in the wake of another investigation by the department's Inspector General, it was reported
that Dannehy was expected to provide Attorney General Michael Mukasey with a status report on her findings within around 60 days.
That timeline was confirmed by DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine in testimony before Congress at the time:
REP. NADLER: Mr. Fine, it's been reported that Ms. Dannehy was appointed to special counsel, will make a preliminary report to the attorney general within the next two months. Do you know when this report will be made public?
MR. FINE: I think what it is is the status of the investigation at that point to the deputy attorney general or the attorney general to see where she is in the process.
I don't think it's sort of a formal report; I think it's more of a status report.
And it was reiterated a few weeks later in a letter
from Mukasey to House Judiciary Chair John Conyers. Mukasey wrote:
As the Inspector General testified, Ms. Dannehy is expected to report on the status of the investigation to the Attorney General approximately 60 days after her appointment.
Now that 60-day deadline has come and gone. And DOJ won't confirm that any such report has been provided, instead referring us to a spokesman for Dannehy who wouldn't comment on the issue.
In other words, at first DOJ had been clear that it wanted a report submitted within 60 days. But now it won't even confirm that such a report has been submitted, or give any further information.
So is the department now going back on its requirement that Dannehy submit a report within 60 days? Is it exerting pressure to reduce the likelihood that details about Dannehy's progress -- like the fact that she's contacted Gonzales -- will slip out? What's going on?
A staffer for the House judiciary committee told TPMmuckraker that they haven't been able to get anythign out of DOJ either on whether Dannehy has submitted a report. A call to the Senate judiciary committee was not immediately returned.
We'll keep you posted as we learn more...