Wednesday, May 16, 2007

He was pushed!

McClatchy, yes @#$%^&* McClatchy, has the story tonight, in what Josh Marshall calls a "buried lede."

Is this the buried lede of all buried ledes?

Deep down in the second to last paragraph of the new McClatchy Attorney Purge story out tonight reads ...

A U.S. attorney in Minnesota, who disagreed with the Justice Department on a case involving voting rolls, was asked to resign early last year.

Minnesota only has one US Attorney district, the one based in Minneapolis. So this must refer to Thomas Heffelfinger, the former Minneapolis US Attorney who resigned last year to be replaced by the notorious martinet Rachel Paulose.

It's been long suspected that Heffelfinger might have been shoved aside to make room for Paulose. And we've known for almost a month that Heffelinger did show up on the DOJ firing list not long before his departure. But I was not aware that we had had clear and specific evidence that he was fired or, as they say, asked to resign. And as hard as it might be to believe his desire to move on to other challenges was just a big coincidence he did go on Minnesota public radio at the end of the last month and very definitively say that he hadn't been pushed out.

But McClatchy is saying -- and even rather offhandedly -- that he was told to resign and that he was pushed because he wouldn't go along with the voter roll purges that the Department of Justice was pushing in swing states around the country. If I'd had to guess what happened. Something like that would be my top guess. But who found this out? And why is the first we hear of it so deep down in this article about two other US Attorneys?

Spotty has said it before, Tom, being disposed of by this outfit is no blot on your escutcheon; it's a badge of honor.

Update: In an update this AM, TMP TPM reports that McClatchy meant "Missouri" not "Minnesota." Oops. Spot believes that someday this is how the story will be written, however.

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