Justice Department Watchdog Confirms Investigation of Political Prosecutions

At the same time that the House Judiciary Committee voted to issue a subpoena to former presidential adviser Karl Rove today, it released a May 5 letter from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility to committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) disclosing that the OPR is investigating “allegations of selective prosecution relating to the prosecutions of Don Siegelman, Georgia Thompson, and Oliver Diaz and Paul Minor.”

Most reader are already familiar with the Siegelman case. Georgia Thompson, you’ll recall, was the Wisconsin state employee whose federal corruption conviction, obtained by Milwaukee-based U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic, was considered so flawed that it was thrown out by the appeals court immediately after oral arguments.

Diaz and Minor may be less familiar to TPMmuckraker readers. Diaz is a former Mississippi State Supreme Court justice, and Minor is a Mississippi attorney. Their prosecutions by U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton have been under scrutiny by the House Judiciary Committee as well:

Diaz and his ex-wife, Jennifer, were indicted in 2003 along with prominent Gulf Coast attorney Paul Minor and two former lower court judges on federal bribery allegations. Oliver Diaz was eventually cleared of all charges. The others were not.

Separately OPR is conducting a joint investigation of the U.S. attorney firings with the DOJ inspector general.

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