A number of experts are saying that Barack Obama's executive order last week on presidential records could be a key first step toward unlocking information about possible criminal activity in the Bush administration.
Obama's order, some observers are saying, is making certain Republicans very nervous. If that's the case, several of those Republicans are likely to be in Alabama.
What does the Obama executive order mean? Neil Eggleston, a White House counsel in the Clinton administration, told TPM Muckraker that the order appears to have been issued with ongoing cases in mind. These could include efforts to obtain records regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys and political prosecutions in the Bush Justice Department:
At its heart, said Eggleston, Obama's order is about "who gets to assert executive privilege." It says that former presidents can claim such privilege, but they have no automatic ability to prevent the release of their records if the current administration deems it to be in the national interest. . . .
In a sense, said Eggleston, it's a directive to the National Archivist. "It says: 'Archivist -- if Bush calls up and says don't release certain papers, don't listen to what he says, listen to what I say.'"
How concerned are Republicans about the order? Within minutes of its release, they announced that they would hold up the confirmation of attorney-general nominee Eric Holder for at least a week.
Daily Kos diarist "dengre" is an authority on the Jack Abramoff scandal, and he said the confirmation of Holder, plus the Obama executive order, could shine significant light on the Abramoff case and its many tentacles--which spread deeply into Alabama and Mississippi.
Speaking of Alabama, "dengre" notes that a Holder confirmation, on top of the Obama executive order, could lead to the truth about apparent political prosecutions, such as the one involving former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.
What if Holder is confirmed, and he is able to use the Obama executive order to unearth documents about possible criminal activity connected to the Bush administration? Who are some of the Alabama Republicans who might find this news distressing?
The list is lengthy, and it includes some of our central characters at Legal Schnauzer:
* Gov. Bob Riley, whose campaign was found to have received $13 million in Mississippi Choctaw gambling money from Abramoff;
* Business Council of Alabama head Bill Canary and Rob Riley (Bob Riley's son), who according to sworn testimony from whistleblower Jill Simpson, were involved in a conspiracy to arrange a bogus prosecution of Siegelman;
* U.S. attorneys Alice Martin and Leura Canary (Bill Canary's wife), who both initiated prosecutions against Siegelman that appear to have been politically motivated;
* GOP "consultant" Dax Swatek who served as campaign manager both for Alice Martin and Bob Riley and has documented ties to Abramoff. For good measure, Dax Swatek is the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" character in our Legal Schnauzer story. His fingerprints are everywhere on this blog, mainly because his father, William E. Swatek, is the corrupt Alabama lawyer who filed the bogus lawsuit against me that started my legal sojourn. I started this blog in order to expose the dirty deeds of Bill Swatek and corrupt GOP judges in Alabama state courts. As a result, Alabama authorities threatened to seize my home and did place an unlawful sheriff's deed on it. Also, evidence clearly shows that someone pressured UAB to fire me because of my blog--which I wrote on my own time, with my own resources, and it had nothing to do with UAB.
Was Dax Swatek involved in my unlawful termination at UAB? Does he, at the very least, know who is behind it? We will be examining those questions closely in the days and weeks ahead.
Meanwhile, perhaps Eric Holder will be giving Dax and his GOP cohorts a case of tighty whities.