Wow, McClatchy drops a bomb today with their interview of U.S. Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias.
Iglesias, whose last day on the job is today, says that two members of Congress called shortly before the 2006 election to push him on details related to his investigation of a state Democrat. Because he refused to be pressured to indict the Dem before the election, Iglesias says, he got the axe: "I believe that because I didn't play ball, so to speak, I was asked to resign." Iglesias told McClatchy that "the two members of Congress not only contacted him directly but also proceeded to try to wrest details about the case from him."
A member of Congress directly contacting a U.S. Attorney is a no-no, especially in cases as sensitive as the one at hand. " Congressional questions about ongoing cases are supposed to go through a special office within the Justice Department to avoid the appearance of impropriety," McClatchy reports. Iglesias says that he was "appalled by the inappropriateness of those contacts."
So there's a big unanswered question here: who were the two lawmakers? McClatchy reports that a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said that it wasn't Bingman. McClatchy couldn't get ahold of New Mexico's other lawmakers as of press time. They are Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) (who wasn't up for reelection at the time) and Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce (R-NM).
We'll be putting calls in to them right away, and also to members of the Republican leadership in the House and Senate, and Republican committee leaders.