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Mukasey taps Fitzgerald for AG advisory post

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Election 2008
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Posted January 3, 2008 3:45 PM
The Swamp

Andrew Zajac

More evidence that new Attorney General Michael Mukasey is running a more transparent and inclusive shop than his predecessors John Ashcroft and, especially, Alberto Gonzales:

Mukasey announced today that he's appointing Chicago federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to the Attorney General's advisory committee of U.S. attorneys.

Fitzgerald was on the committee from 2001 until 2005, but his appointment to it preceded his service as special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.

Fitzgerald's probing in that case led to the perjury conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby and earned the prosecutor the lasting enmity of the White House.

Gonzales, a former White House counsel, who as attorney general was sharply criticized for lack of independence from President Bush, did not re-appoint Fitzgerald to the advisory panel, which counsels the attorney general on law enforcement issues.

Mukasey still has a sticky call to make connected to the Plame case. He has to decide whether to allow Congress to have transcripts of investigators' interviews with Bush, Cheney and former White House senior advisor Karl Rove.

Fitzgerald's appointment comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement by Mukasey that the Justice Department will open a criminal investigation -- to be headed by a career prosecutor from outside Main Justice -- into the CIA's destruction of videotaped interrogations of terrorism suspects.

No telling how that inquiry will shake out, but Muakasey's decision to green light it contrasts with Gonzales' acquiescence in a White House decision to block security clearances for DOJ ethics officials seeking to investigate the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic wiretapping program.
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I'll believe real change has come to DOJ when Cheney goes down.

Does this make him unavailable for the CIA torture tapes probe?

Great!!! This is just what we know Fitzpatrick will not allow any funny business.

As Fitzgerald is taking down the Chicago/Cook County/Illinois democratic machine - where the real crimes are committed.

Some of us had reasonable hope that Mukasey wouldn't be totally in the pocket of GWB when he was appointed. Most of those hopes were dashed during the confirmation hearings.

but then again......

I wish Fitzgerald would be appointed to the AG position some day. I think however, that politicians are too afraid of him. He will go after ANYONE, and I love him for it. Being a longtime Chicago resident, I applaud his efforts to put an end to the rampant patronage in this city. He has made much progress in doing so, putting several higher ups in the Daley administration in jail. His commitment to prosecuting anyone he could in the Plame investigation and diligence in the investigation shows me he is not partisan, simply a determined prosecutor that enforces the law objectively.

On a day with tired candidates and tired media, why not make Fitzpatrick unavailable to Congress by so appointing him? Makes perfect sense to me!

I believe Mukasey's bringing Patrick Fitzgerald into the WH/DOJ fold is a sneaky way of making him unavailable for independent prosecutions.

Has Fitz actually accepted the offer yet?

Eddie, sadly I think you may be right. Fitzgerald has proven what he is capable of when left to his own devices, and the Bush administration paid attention. I think it quite possible that his appointment is a way of limiting his juristiction while at the same time making it look like a promotion and reward.

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