Email: DoJ Official Questions “How in the Heck” Prosecutors Pursued Controversial Case

Alberto Gonzales may be on his way out, but plenty of questions remain. One in particular concerns the prosecution of Wisconsin state bureaucrat Georgia Thompson, whose conviction on corruption charges was abruptly overturned when the court of appeals reviewed the case, finding the evidence against Thompson “beyond thin.”

The case, because of its tenuous ties to the Democratic governor, became an election year hobby horse for Republicans. It’s since become better known as a worrying indication of politicization of prosecutorial decisions, leading to Congressional scrutiny of Milwaukee’s U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic and the decision to pursue the case.

Well, the House Judiciary Committee today released the first correspondence it’s obtained in its investigation of the Thompson case. And as Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) characterizes it, the brief email exchange “demonstrates that even Justice Department insiders thought the Thompson case was seriously flawed.”

In the exchange, Craig Donsanto, the Election Crimes Branch Director and a well-respected veteran of the Department, responds to an email from Raymond Hulser, Deputy Chief of the Department’s Public Integrity Section, who forwarded to Donsanto the appeals court’s opinion overturning Thompson’s conviction.

Donsanto’s reaction was simple: “Bad facts make bad law. How in the heck did this case get brought?”

That, of course, is precisely the question that Democrats are trying to answer. “This only underscores the need for further investigation into the Administration’s alleged role in politicizing prosecutions,” says Conyers.