Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Murder and the U.S. Attorneys Scandal

Kudos to the White Collar Crime Prof blog for shining light on a remarkable story by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker.

Toobin writes about John McKay of Seattle, who was one of nine U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush Department of Justice (DOJ).

McKay assumed the Seattle position after Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales had been murdered, a case that is still unsolved. Wales, a career prosecutor who had spent almost 20 years in the Seattle office, was known for his meticulous work. He also was known as an advocate for gun control in his spare time away from the job.

Toobin writes that McKay might have been fired because he was pushing the DOJ to step up its investigation of Wales's murder.

The motive behind Wales's murder remains unclear. Was he killed because of his well-publicized work on gun control? Was he killed because of his work on a prosecution that came to be known as the "helicopter case?"

Like most New Yorker articles, Toobin's piece is lengthy. But it is well done, and it raises chilling questions about the Bush DOJ.

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