David Iglesias is comparing Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s alleged targeting of political foes to the notorious Rove-Gonzales politicization of DOJ, which led to Iglesias’s own improper firing.
The evidence against the Arizona sheriff was “very similar to what was going on at the Department of Justice under the Bush administration,” Iglesias said in an interview with TPMmuckraker. “It unfortunately felt very familiar.”A Phoenix news station reported late last week that Arpaio is being investigated by the FBI for using his authority to go after people who had publicly criticized or opposed him. Iglesias — a former U.S. attorney who was dismissed for not pursuing politically motivated prosecutions — conducted his own review of the evidence, on behalf of the news station, KPHO, and concluded that charges should be brought against Arpaio.
Speaking to TPMmuckraker, Iglesias said that KPHO had asked him to look into the evidence against Arpaio, and that “what I saw was very disturbing.” He called the timing of the investigations by Arpaio into Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard “very suspect,” noting that both had recently spoken out against the sheriff’s controversial law-enforcement tactics.
“I figured it was a public service to speak out,” said Iglesias.
But for his trouble, Iglesias, naturally, found himself attacked by Arpaio, who said in a statement that as U.S. attorney, Iglesias “was criticized for looking the other way in an investigation involving ACORN, an organization that embraces illegal immigration.”
“I wear his criticism as a badge of honor,” Iglesias told us, calling Arpaio’s attack a “tried and true smear the critic” approach.
“What he refuses to appreciate is an honest prosecutor doesn’t file a charge” against someone he can’t hope to convict.