07/28/2005: Interesting rumors from Karen's neck o' the woods....
Karen's Representative in Congress is the Honorable *snick* Dennis Hastert.
Rumors are filtering out from Chicagoland that Hastert may be exerting influence on the bAdministration to insure that Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and Special Prosecutor in the Valerie Plame identity-leak investigation, is not reappointed to that office (i.e., U.S. Attorney) when his term ends this October. Apparently, if Fitzgerald is not appointed, it would not be a "Saturday Night Massacre" scenario resulting from his handling of the Plame case, but rather would be a payback for Fitzgerald's aggressive prosecution of political corruption cases in the Land o'Lincoln. From the Chicago Tribune article:
Former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald said Wednesday he believes there is mounting political pressure to oppose the reappointment of U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald this fall, given his aggressive prosecution of government corruption in Illinois.Josh Marshall points out that Patrick Fitzgerald's term as U.S. Attorney in Chicago is a separate matter from his appointment as special prosecutor in the Plame investigation:
The former senator questioned whether House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the state's top Republican, would support the prosecutor when President Bush decides whether to extend his term in Chicago.
But Hastert, who often battled with Sen. Fitzgerald while the two Republicans served together in Congress, quickly shot down the ex-senator's claims. Hastert's office said the decision rests entirely with President Bush and Hastert has no role whatsoever in whether the prosecutor keeps his job.
Fitzgerald was the state's Republican U.S. senator in 2001 when he went outside Illinois' political and legal circles to recommend Patrick Fitzgerald, who was then a federal prosecutor in New York. Peter Fitzgerald contends that the subsequent indictment of former GOP Gov. George Ryan and the federal investigation of Mayor Richard Daley's City Hall have angered powerful politicians in both parties. The Fitzgeralds are not related.
"I'd be pleasantly surprised if Speaker Hastert recommended Patrick Fitzgerald for reappointment," the former senator said in a telephone interview, echoing comments he made in a WGN-TV interview Wednesday.
"But I'm beginning to sense that a lot of people, a lot of criminals, may hope that October brings them a new U.S. attorney in Chicago, one perhaps a little bit more malleable and acceptable to influence from leading Republicans and leading Democrats."
Now, there are a few points to make clear here -- the most important of which is that, at least in my understanding, Fitzgerald's appointment as special prosecutor in the Plame case is entirely separate from his appointment as USA in Chicago. So presumably getting dumped from one wouldn't affect his tenure in the other. Still, canning him in the main job wouldn't be a bad way of getting some pay back.Of course, even if Fitzgerald is canned as U.S. Attorney, there's absolutely no danger that he'll be seen laying in the alleyways of Chicago as a drunken, drug addicted bum anytime soon. Indeed, most likely this rumor is causing the greatest amount of excitement in the conference rooms of big law firms in Chicago and New York, where some firm management committees are trying to devise the compensation package most likely to entice Fitzgerald to come toil in their litigation departments....
UPDATE: Steve Gilliard has some great comments on the breaking news that the Cook County (IL) GOP has offered a $10,000 reward for evidence leading to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's indictment and conviction on corruption charges:
Daley affair: 10G rewardJust as good is this gem:CHICAGO--The Cook County Republican Party is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment and conviction of Mayor Richard Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by scandal.A: Just $10K? That's not even a good kickback
B: They ran Alan Keyes for Senate
C: Wasn't George Ryan a crook?
D: I think that's Patrick Fitzgerald's job
Only $10G's, dad would be so ashamed.
Len on 07.28.05 @ 07:32 AM CST