David Iglesias has reacted with a combination of satisfaction and indignation to this week’s release of documents on the U.S. attorney firings.
“I feel 100 percent vindicated,” Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico, whose dismissal was the most controversial of the bunch, told TPMmuckraker in an interview.
And he went right after Karl Rove, who, the documents show, personally pressed for Iglesias’s firing. “Despite his protestations, including some very recent protestations, he was directly involved,” said Iglesias of Rove.
“Conduit, schmonduit,” he added, referring to Rove’s claim that he merely passed on concerns from New Mexico Republicans. Iglesias accused Rove of telling “absolute falsehoods.”
Igleisas laid out the evidence of Rove’s involvement. “There were emails detailing the fact that he was agitated with me, that’s how Miers describes him,” Iglesias said. “He was meeting with folks like Allen Weh and Pat Rogers and the rest of the New Mexico crew,” he added, referring to two leaders of the state GOP. “He wanted to get the New Mexico U.S. attorney out. He didn’t name me, but who was the New Mexico U.S. attorney at the time?”
The former Navy JAG, who in the 1980s was a member of the legal team that was the inspiration for the the movie A Few Good Men, noted that he had long believed that President Bush’s top adviser played a major role in his firing. “When I stated a couple years ago that all the roads lead to Rove, I meant it,” Iglesias said. “But I didn’t know how long it would take to get the evidence.”
As for the news, reported yesterday by TPMmuckraker, that Rove’s office longed to replaced the ousted prosecutor with Pat Rogers, the New Mexico Republican activist who had helped get him fired, Iglesias was bemused. “Rogers would have done their bidding,” he said. “I’m sure he would have filed frivolous prosecutions, and then he would have got in trouble. But for something very different.”
Iglesias, ever the by-the-book prosecutor, refused to be drawn out on whether there was evidence of a crime. “Whether or not this amounts to obstruction of justice, or perjury, that’s Nora Dannehy’s call,” he said, referring to the special prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department to look into the matter. “I would not dare second guess her in the way that a bunch of New Mexico Republicans tried to second guess me, without reviewing the evidence.”
Iglesias, who’s now a prosecutor in the military commissions system, called the recent news that another of the fired U.S. attorneys, Daniel Bogden, has been renominated to his old job, “poetic justice.” But he demurred when asked if he could envision the same thing happening in his case. “I’m not really sure that would be a good move for me to go back,” he said, adding that he hadn’t been approached about the matter by anyone from the Obama administration.
For now, he said, he’s thankful that Congress stuck to the task of probing the episode, despite some epic foot-dragging by the Bush White House. “I’m so grateful to [House Judiciary committee chair John] Conyers and his staff for being persevering and getting to the bottom of it,” he said.