More and more information continues to be revealed in the ongoing investigation of the firings of eight U. S. attorneys.
Information revealed over the last several days indicates U. S. Attorney Todd Graves of Missouri was targeted, but resigned before any action was actually taken. An article in today's Washington Post indicates that an aide to Sen. Kit Bond, without Bond's approval, urged that Graves be removed from his post.
As I have noted numerous times on this blog, everything comes back to the pay-for-play schemes involving the awarding of license fee offices by Governor Matt Blunt's administration:
A spokeswoman for Bond said yesterday that the senator's former counsel, Jack Bartling, contacted the White House counsel's office in the spring of 2005, without Bond's permission. According to the spokeswoman, Bartling said that Graves's replacement "would be favored," because the prosecutor's wife and brother-in-law had stirred ethics complaints in Missouri.
Graves responded to the newly released information:
Last night, Graves issued a statement that said: "This would be humorous if we were not talking about the United States Department of Justice. First, you tell me that DOJ staffers were making secret hit lists and my name was on one of them. Then, you tell me that a staffer for Missouri's senior senator had a hit list so secret that not even the senator knew about it."
In the spring of 2005, the Justice Department said the state contracts held by Graves's wife and brother-in-law did not create a conflict of interest.
Somehow, a decision by our current Department of Justice that there was no conflict of interest does not carry much weight.