Washington Republicans Chased Ousted Prosecutor

When former United States attorney John McKay made a bid in 2006 to be a federal judge, he didn't get the job. Why? Well, part of the vetting process, it seems, involved quizzing him about why he didn't pursue allegations of voter fraud by Democrats in the 2004 gubernatorial election.

The Seattle Times has more on who in the White House asked McKay about that:

He said Tuesday that during interviews with Harriet Miers, former White House counsel, and William Kelley, deputy counsel, he was asked to explain "criticism that I mishandled the 2004 governor's election."

Since McClatchy reported that Miers wasn't the one who popped the question to McKay, it seems that William Kelley was.

So who complained to the White House?

McKay told The Seattle Times that reporters "should ask Congressman [Doc] Hastings (R-WA) if he contacted the White House in connection with my application to be district judge or contacted the justice department."

Well, they did, and Hastings' chief of staff denied it up and down: "Neither I nor any member of my staff — past or present — ever contacted anyone at the White House or the Department of Justice about whether John McKay should be removed as U.S. attorney or whether he was qualified to be a federal judge."

State Republicans made quite a ruckus about the lack of an investigation -- one Republican, Tom McCabe of the Building Industry Association of Washington, even wrote to Hastings demanding that Hastings "please ask the White House to replace Mr. McKay." Cc'ed on the letter (pdf) (which calls McKay a Democrat, even though he is a Republican), were John Fund of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, Greg Van Tatenhove, a former U.S. attorney who was successfully nominated to the federal bench, and Bob Williams of the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation, who went so far as to file a formal complaint with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2005 about McKay's handling of the voter fraud allegations.

McCabe also claims to have "urged the President to fire McKay." How, where, and when he did that is not clear.

Update: This post originally said that McKay made his bid for the federal bench in 2005. It was actually last year. The meeting with the White House was last August or September, he says, and he was informed that he had not gotten the spot four days after he was fired in December.



I'm sure McCabe would have had the opportunity at some fundraiser to tell Bush about it. These guys think they just own the world.

Posted by: ohiomeister
Date: March 7, 2007 03:03 PM

Is a pattern developing here? Alaska's USA Timothy Burgess by this account REFUSED to prosecute Republicans...namely with the last name Stevens and was made a Federal Judge....

NOAA Fisheries assessed a 3.44 million dollar fine on Adak Fisheries partners. Yet 44 counts stemming from perjury allegations were never prosecuted. Taufen served the writ of mandamus on John Ashcroft and John McKay's office.

Ben Stevens (Ted's son) is jointly and severably responsible for the fine and it has yet been paid

Then Alaska got it's Patriotic Act US Attorney Nelson Cohen.

See the paragraph in between the asterisks.

Stephen Taufen has been following this for years.
His Alaska Report is fascinating reading.

From Daily Kos:

Ray Metcalfe Chairman of the Republican Moderate Party, has accused Alaska Senate president Ben Stevens of bribery and money laundering. "Robbing Alaskans of their dividends, for the benefit of friends who pay him bribes was precisely what Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens was repairing to do when I decided to start exposing his fraud."

In a 2 1/2 hour hearing at the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), with Ben Stevens in attendence, Metcalfe laid out his argument that for years Ben Stevens has been accepting back door bribes through the cover of consulting fees and illicit payments. Both are felonies under Alaska state law. Metcalfe alledges that Steven's has been paid $923,507 over the years in payments through the processors, various kickbacks, and funneled through the Alaska Fisheries Marketing Board set up by his father, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.

MetCalfes Documentation can be found here. If you can't read the entire thing at least notice this:

"In total, Ben gave $12,040,004 to the people who paid him $923,507. This does not account for over $700,000 he raked off the topof the funds he raised for the Special Olympics, which, to the best of our knowledge, came mostly from the above named recipients of his gifts.

However, unfortunately, we do not know because we do not have the power of subpoena and the Attorney General refuses to investigate. The Attorney General has told us "All you have is hearsay" and has refused to return calls to witnesses we have provided and witnesses who have called him, who claim to have knowledge of money laundering, kickbacks and Bribery."

p> Nelson Cohen an outsider from Pennsylvania was appointed as the new Attorney General for Alaska, greatly upsetting Senator Ted Stevens. Stevens had been trying to get an Alaska lawyer appointed U.S. attorney, but for one reason or another the people he recommended have been knocked out.

More tidbits on the Searches and various Corruption

*The White House and DOJ where briefed about raids days before they happened

*Veco had a days notice between serving of warrants and searches.

*There were many Forensic Accountants on the team raiding Anchorage offices yesterday. Readers may be interested to note that Stephen Taufen of Groundswell worked for a seafood supplier on their case against two factory trawlers involving federal bankruptcies, and advised the FBI and Norwegian government in January of 1997 about the impending bankruptcies of others should shoreside pollock allocations increase.

*National Marine Fisheries special agents are on the search teams, and that it will surely spill over into the payments he received from Yard Arm Knot, Highland Light, the At-Sea Processors Association, North Pacific Crab Assn, Glacier Fish Company and others who were paying Ben along with Adak Fisheries, for consulting

*For months a staffer in one of the offices raided has been providing information to federal authorities. This may explain why documents were taken off the back of a picture on the wall.

*Searches branch beyond Alaska, including Seattle

*Bill Allen, owner of VECO, and his firm, were involved in a renovation of Ted Stevens' chalet in Girdwood in the recent past. As we previously learned, warrants where served in Girdwood.

*Expect the IRS to do complete audits of all sources of funds to the legislators involved, and this week's action to be the entryway for the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS to investigate monies held in offshore locations. One example is Adak Seafoods' Nowegian subsidiary KARLO, which may be a profit laundering operation for cod sales through to Brazil. In earlier court action involving Adak, mention was made of another operation in Portugal.

*Wev Shea, a former U.S. attorney for Alaska says he knows who created the climate that he alleges allowed corruption to flourish. "The Republican Party is going to rue the day in this state for allowing Randy Ruedrich (chairman of the Republican Party of Alaska) to remain as a chair. He's bringing this party down and it's bad."

*State Sen. Ben Stevens held a secret option to buy into an Alaska seafood company at the same time his powerful father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, was creating a special Aleutian Islands fishery that would supply the company with pollock worth millions of dollars a year. The pollock allocation alone was projected to provide the company with $1.5 million in profits in 2005 and $3.7 million in 2006. Under his deal, Ben Stevens would have been entitled to one-fourth of the profits of the company, Adak Fisheries. During the time he held the option, the company grew in value from about $2 million to at least $8.5 million, according to an owner and court documents.

*Ted Stevens was chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, a powerful position from which he was extraordinarily able to push legislation through Congress. By attaching unrelated legislation to a vital spending bill and allowing it to go along for the "ride," he could bypass the usual process of introduction, committee hearings and waiting for debate to be scheduled on the Senate floor -- stopping points where opponents could slow, change or kill the measure.

*Mitch Rose, a former aide to Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), earned $270,000 from the cable industry in the first half of 2006, largely to influence a major telecommunications bill drafted by Stevens, according to congressional records. Rose -- who has an almost father-son relationship with Stevens -- started his solo lobbying career in early 2006 after leaving Disney in Washington, D.C.

*At a hearing by the Alaska Public Offices Commission regarding the second of four complaints against State senate president Ben A. Stevens, two more $150 fines were imposed. Note, that is 150 dollar fines for corruption that earned Stevens hundres of thousands of dollars. Special treatment and looking the other way may explain why APOC documents where seized in the raids.

What I believe Like I've said, I can give you pieces of the puzzle and you can put it together yourself. Though In my mind its pretty easy to see (just not word in a diary) that through ongoing corruption involving Ted Stevens directing speecial interest at his son Ben Stevens, and then Attorney General's and The Public Office Commision looking the other way eventually made someone high enough in power interested. A newly appointed AG from out of state upset Ted Steven's because it was someone he couldnt control. Add this with his attempt at blocking Obama's transparency bill and you definately have something that doesn't smell right. And this is all over fisheries, I havent even made it into the research on the oil pipeline that would have netted 21 billion for Alaska.

Fish, Oil and Political Payoffs. This one has it all.


Posted by: Robin Boerner
Date: March 7, 2007 03:09 PM

I was so intrigued by this post I followed the link to the Seattle Times article. Doc Hastings would very much like us to believe that he "denied it up and down", but his statement does nothing of the sort. Rather, it identifies two statements that Hastings claims not to have made. Yet he could certainly have complained about John McKay without recommending McKay's removal or disapproval of a judgeship. This is a classic Bush-era non-denial denial.

Here's the other great revelation of the Seattle Times piece: Main Justice fired McKay in part because he supported the wrong information-sharing software! McKay liked LINX, while Deputy AG John McNulty liked OneDOJ. Wait, is this our national law enforcement agency or a Dilbert cartoon? I guess we knew DoJ was desperate, but still...

Posted by: TomH
Date: March 7, 2007 03:25 PM

The next step in this scandal might be to identify USAs who have failed to pursue Republican wrong doing. I understand Robin's concerns about Alaska, but we need more than a Daily Kos diary. I have heard rumors about NJ as well. Again we need some evidence.

Posted by: Ron Byers
Date: March 7, 2007 03:31 PM


In Denver in 2005, US Attorney for Colorado Bill Leone opted not to open a criminal case into the impersonation of Secret Service agents by two White House advance volunteers.

"...The Secret Service later investigated whether a volunteer committed a crime of impersonating a federal agent. The U.S. attorney's office declined to press charges, giving no explanation..."


Those advance volunteers, key players in the so-called, "Denver Three" case last week revealed in a court-ordered deposition that they were ordered by two Senior White House Staffers to pre-emptively throw three Denver citizens out of a taxpayer-funded event.

One of the Senior White House staffers protected by Leone's order not to prosecute was Steve Atkiss, at the time White House trip Director. The 26 year old Atkiss was later promoted to Special Assistant to the President for Operations (having an office three doors down from the Oval Office in the West Wing) - and then to Chief of Staff at the Customs and Border Protection Agency at DHS.

Posted by: Citizen 92
Date: March 7, 2007 03:39 PM

Perhaps the statute of limitations will not have expired in 2009 for the "Denver Three" case.

Posted by: Don Quixote
Date: March 7, 2007 04:14 PM

yes, I am wondering about all the Attorneys who WEREN'T fired! The dog that didn't bark in the night...

Posted by: Kathy
Date: March 7, 2007 04:33 PM

How much fun is this? Watching the Republican eat their young is reality TV for the Progressive viewer. YUM!

Posted by: David Jacobs
Date: March 7, 2007 04:50 PM

I don't have much to add, but I felt I had to post since my Security Code word is "shame."

That pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: Allsburg
Date: March 7, 2007 05:33 PM

Ron Byers >"...I understand Robin's concerns about Alaska, but we need more than a Daily Kos diary. I have heard rumors about NJ as well. Again we need some evidence."

Time to dig a little cause there are plenty of pieces out there.

As far as the Alaska angle think gas/oil pipeline hocus pocus. Plenty of stuff there. Also any time you are looking at Alaska fish you are close to Moon enterprises. Look deeper.

"The future will be a struggle between huge competing systems of psychopathology." - J. G. Ballard

Posted by: daCascadian
Date: March 7, 2007 05:34 PM

The news keeps getting better all day:

Bush's New US Attorney a Criminal?

BBC Television had exposed 2004 voter attack scheme
by appointee Griffin, a Rove aide.
Black soldiers and the homeless targeted.
by Greg Palast

March 7, 2007.

There's only one thing worse than sacking an honest prosecutor. That's replacing an honest prosecutor with a criminal.

There was one big hoohah in Washington yesterday as House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers pulled down the pants on George Bush's firing of US Attorneys to expose a scheme to punish prosecutors who wouldn't bend to political pressure.

But the Committee missed a big one: Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove's assistant, the President's pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.

Key voters on Griffin's hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In October 2004, our investigations team at BBC Newsnight received a series of astonishing emails from Mr. Griffin, then Research Director for the Republican National Committee. He didn't mean to send them to us. They were highly confidential memos meant only for RNC honchos.

However, Griffin made a wee mistake. Instead of sending the emails -- potential evidence of a crime -- to email addresses ending with the domain name "@GeorgeWBush.com" he sent them to "@GeorgeWBush.ORG." A website run by prankster John Wooden who owns "GeorgeWBush.org." When Wooden got the treasure trove of Rove-ian ravings, he sent them to us.

And we dug in, decoding, and mapping the voters on what Griffin called, "Caging" lists, spreadsheets with 70,000 names of voters marked for challenge. Overwhelmingly, these were Black and Hispanic voters from Democratic precincts.

The Griffin scheme was sickly brilliant. We learned that the RNC sent first-class letters to new voters in minority precincts marked, "Do not forward." Several sheets contained nothing but soldiers, other sheets, homeless shelters. Targets included the Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida and that city's State Street Rescue Mission. Another target, Edward Waters College, a school for African-Americans.

If these voters were not currently at their home voting address, they were tagged as "suspect" and their registration wiped out or their ballot challenged and not counted. Of course, these 'cages' captured thousands of students, the homeless and those in the military though they are legitimate voters.
We telephoned those on the hit list, including one Randall Prausa. His wife admitted he wasn't living at his voting address: Randall was a soldier shipped overseas.

Randall and other soldiers like him who sent in absentee ballots, when challenged, would lose their vote. And they wouldn't even know it.

And by the way, it's not illegal for soldiers to vote from overseas -- even if they're Black.

But it is illegal to challenge voters en masse where race is an element in the targeting. So several lawyers told us, including Ralph Neas, famed civil rights attorney with People for the American Way.

Griffin himself ducked our cameras, but his RNC team tried to sell us the notion that the caging sheets were, in fact, not illegal voter hit lists, but a roster of donors to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. Republican donors at homeless shelters?

Over the past weeks, Griffin has said he would step down if he had to face Congressional confirmation. However, the President appointed Griffin to the law enforcement post using an odd little provision of the USA Patriot Act that could allow Griffin to skip Congressional questioning altogether.

Therefore, I have a suggestion for Judiciary members. Voting law expert Neas will be testifying today before Conyers' Committee on the topic of illegal voter "disenfranchisement" -- the fancy word for stealing elections by denying voters' civil rights.

Maybe Conyers should hold a line-up of suspected vote thieves and let Neas identify the perpetrators. That should be easy in the case of the Caging List Criminal. He'd only have to look for the guy wearing a new shiny lawman's badge.


Posted by: Robin Boerner
Date: March 7, 2007 06:11 PM

Come on, Robin--do you HAVE to scoop Josh? It's not polite--especially on his own website.

Posted by: Allsburg
Date: March 7, 2007 06:17 PM

Come on, Robin--do you HAVE to scoop Josh? It's not polite--especially on his own website.

Posted by: Allsburg
Date: March 7, 2007 06:17 PM

Sorry, I wasn't trying to out scoop him....the Bush idiots are making it way to easy. Considering I am home with time because newly and hopefully temporarily disabled and just hitting public sites...what could an HONEST FBI, GAO, Congressional Impeachment, etc turn up?

Josh was the first to hit this story so hard. I think history will put him in the forefront of something as big as Watergate. Destroying Lady Justice is destroying the fabric of our country.

For that we should all be very thankfull to Josh.

I should have known something was up when Ashcroft couldn't stand to look at a statues naked breast. Maybe if they all just used that madam more they wouldn't have so much free time to screw us all.

Posted by: Robin Boerner
Date: March 7, 2007 06:26 PM

Also note that Greg Van Tatenhove was mentioned approvingly (though not by name) in the letter--he was the U.S. attorney from Kentucky prosecuting "minimal" election law violations against Democratic officials in his state. Presumably he was promoted for this, the quid pro quo is looking pretty clear now...

Posted by:
Date: March 7, 2007 09:56 PM

One of the strikes against John McKay was "why he didn't pursue allegations of voter fraud by Democrats in the 2004 gubernatorial election.".

Interestingly enough, this was also an allegation against New Mexico USA David Iglesias. From what I have heard from LWV members who are lawyers, the investigations came up empty. No voter fraud, period. But local Republicans are still flogging the issue. State Rep. Justine Fox-Young continues to bring it in the legislature, even though her "evidence" doesn't hold water.

"Voter fraud" has been a big Republican issue in the state in recent years. It's used, basically, to make it harder for people to register to vote, and to vote. Just last month, Albuquerque's new "voter ID" law was struck down for applying different standards to voters who voted in person (they must show proof of identity) versus those who voted by mail (just mail in a card and you get a ballot.)

Obviously, voting by mail has much greater potential for fraud, and for fraud on a massive scale: think of all the Alzheimers homes and other places where massive numbers of elderly "voters" can receive ballots, and then be "assisted" to check the Republican boxes...

Posted by: Zandru
Date: March 8, 2007 08:57 AM

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