Monday, May 7, 2007
The Washington Post has two stories today that keep the AG's office as one of the top stories in the paper. Dan Eggen has a piece on the likelihood that immunity will be given to Monica Goodling. And DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Justice Department's Inspector General are questioning whether immunity is the correct route to take here. They note that they are conducting an investigation.
There are two problems here: 1) Although OPR and the IG have good intentions to do a thorough investigation here, one has to wonder if insiders are really the proper parties to investigate this matter. Do they perhaps have a conflict in that OPR, for one, reports to the Deputy Attorney General, who reports to the Attorney General? (See here for chart of the DOJ). Is this at least an appearance of impropriety? 2) On the other hand is the House Judiciary Committee correct in granting immunity this early in an investigation. It could easily serve as a bar to a later action if the evidence proves that the individual being granted immunity is the most culpable and has criminal liability. One doesn't have to go too far back in history to figure out the ramifications of a grant of immunity.
So what should happen here? Should there be a special prosecutor who investigates all avenues first, and then decides if immunity is the correct path to take? But maybe Patrick Fitzgerald is not right for this one. Perhaps what is needed here is someone who will not try to keep the press from telling the whole story, even when it may be beneficial for the entire investigation. (see here)