Conyers, Sanchez and Lofgren Ask Gonzales Follow Up Questions about 9th Purged Attorney, Todd Graves

Brian Zick

Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports: Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, and Reps. Linda Sánchez (CA-39) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-16) called upon Attorney General Gonzales to provide information to the Judiciary Committee regarding the dismissal of Todd Graves, the ninth U.S. Attorney known to have been fired by the Justice Department in 2006. The Attorney General responded to questions about Graves’ dismissal at Thursday’s hearing (specific video), neglecting to acknowledge he was on the firing list, while defending a voter fraud case that Graves refused to endorse. That case was eventually dismissed. From the letter (full text of which is at the link): We are writing to formally restate Chairman Conyers’ request at the end of your recent appearance before the House Judiciary Committee for the prompt production of all documents, in unredacted form, relating to the termination of Todd Graves, the former United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, who we now know was the ninth U.S. Attorney forced to resign by the Department in 2006.This request would also cover all documents relevant to the selection of Brad Schlozman as the interim replacement for Mr. Graves, including documents regarding other candidates considered for this position, if any. As we understand it, this will require a new search by the Department of Justice, in addition to providing unredacted copies of already-produced proposed termination lists.We also have concerns with your suggestion that Mr. Graves’ termination was somehow not part of the same process that led to the other terminations, given the fact that Mr. Graves appeared on Kyle Sampson’s proposed termination list that was transmitted to Harriet Miers in January 2006, just weeks before Mr. Graves was asked to resign.As Representative Lofgren pointed out in her questioning, there are disturbing indications that the decision to fire Mr. Graves was related to his disagreement with a voter fraud lawsuit pushed by Mr. Schlozman, the very person eventually named by you to succeed Mr. Graves as an interim U.S. Attorney. Notwithstanding your assertions, our review indicates that the district court decision dismissing that lawsuit focused on much more than the procedural defect of naming the wrong defendant.

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