Iglesias in GQ

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Former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias was interviewed in GQ. Don’t know what’s going on? Here’s that mag’s intro:

Last December, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, along with seven of his colleagues, was “asked” to resign. The move was a head-scratcher: Only ten US Attorneys had been fired mid-term since 1982—and of those ten, eight were for completely justifiable reasons. (One, for instance, bit a stripper.) But these firings came in a cluster. And most of the USA-8, as the purged attorneys are being called, had strong records: a large number of cases prosecuted, high conviction rates. Iglesias, in particular, was a star—a 49-year-old former JAG lawyer, “a diverse up-and-comer” according to a Department of Justice evaluation, and someone who was being considered for the U.S. Attorney slots in both D.C. and Manhattan. Then, before he knew it, he wasn’t.

Further down, Iglesias expands on his reasoning for keeping Domenici’s inappropriate call under wraps for so long:

Senator Pete Domenici called you in October basically to lean on you, to ask if you would issue indictments in a case damaging to local Democrats before November’s election. You were supposed to report that call to Justice, but you didn’t. Why? Because you felt loyal to the Senator?

Do you regret that decision?
It’s hard to go back and change what happened. I felt like I owed a debt of gratitude to the Senator because he recommended me for the position, he helped me when I ran for office, he did a fundraising video for me, he lent me one of his staffers for a few days to help me drive around the state. I just felt a terrible conflict between my duty to report the inappropriate call and my loyalty to Senator Domenici.

It’s a good read, and I encourage you to check it out. Hat tip to Digby (again!) who comments a bit on the interview:

At some point you have to look past the leadership and ask why people were so willing to follow them over the cliff. It wasn’t the system that failed — it was every single Republican (like Iglesias) who looked the other way because their boy was on top and they wanted to be in the winners circle. Many of them knew that something was very wrong and yet they said nothing. They need to think about that.

It’s kind of sweet that he’s lost his faith in Bush and the boys, but it’s an illness that goes all the way to the bottom. All he has to do is look at those local fellow Republicans who proudly swiftboated him today to know that the Republican party is rotten to the core. And the “philosophy” itself,such as it is, is part of the problem — all that talk about responsibility and independence and rule of law are just talking points. This is about loyalty to a party which, when you strip all the marketing away, really exists solely as opposition to its enemy. They hate liberalism. Everything is in service to that single animating idea and has been for a long, long time.

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