Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ronnie Earle Should Not Be a Prosecutor

This excerpt says it all. Imagine, if you will. After what Clinton was able to do to Ken Starr, what they would do to Ronnie Earle if the tables were turned. We need to fight back aggressively........T
The abuses of power in the Tom DeLay case should offend Democrats and Republicans alike.
"If there is one thing liberals and conservatives ought to be able to agree on, it is this: Ronnie Earle, district attorney of Travis County, Texas, has no business wielding the enormous powers of prosecution.
One thing is sure, though, and it ought to make anyone who cares about basic fairness angry. The investigation of DeLay, a matter of national gravity is being pursued with shocking ethical bankruptcy by the district attorney -- by Ronnie Earle

And Ronnie Earle has flouted it in embarrassing, mind-numbingly brazen ways.
As Byron York has been reporting on NRO (see here, here, and here), Earle has partnered up with producers making a movie, called The Big Buy, about his Ahab's pursuit of DeLay. A movie about a real investigation? Giving filmmakers access to investigative information while a secret grand-jury probe is underway? Allowing them to know who is being investigated and why? To view proposed indictments even before the grand jury does? Allowing them into the sanctuary of the grand jury room, and actually to film grand jurors themselves? Creating a powerful incentive -- in conflict with the duty of evenhandedness -- to bring charges on flimsy evidence? For a prosecutor, these aren't just major lapses. They are firing offenses. For prosecutors such as those I worked with over the years, from across the political spectrum, I daresay they'd be thought firing-squad offenses.
Attending partisan fundraisers in order to speak openly about an ongoing grand jury investigation against an uncharged public official. As a moneymaking vehicle.
Penning a nakedly partisan op-ed (in the New York Times on November 23, 2004) about the political fallout of his grand-jury investigation of DeLay, then uncharged.
Settling cases by squeezing businesses to make hefty financial contributions to pet personal causes in exchange for exercising the public's power to dismiss charges.
Secretly shopping for new grand juries when, despite the incalculable advantages the prosecution has in that forum, the earlier grand jurors have found the case too weak to indict.
Ignoring the commission by members of his own party of the same conduct that he seeks to brand felonious when engaged in by members of the other party.
Such actions and tactics are reprehensible. They constitute inexcusably dishonorable behavior on the part of a public servant, regardless of whether the persons and entities investigated were in the wrong. They warrant universal censure.
If Congressman DeLay did something illegal, he, like anyone else, should be called to account. But he, like anyone else, is entitled to procedural fairness, including a prosecutor who not only is, but also appears to be, fair and impartial.
Ronnie Earle is not that prosecutor. He has disgraced his profession, and done grievous disservice to thousands of federal, state, and local government attorneys. Prosecutors of all persuasions whose common bond is a good faith commitment to the rules -- but who will now bear the burden of suspicions fostered by Earle's excesses.
The burden, but not the cost. That will be borne by the public."
-- Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

1 Comment:

splugy said...

I think Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General should convene a Federal Grand Jury and return the complement. I hear prosecutors don't get along well in Sing Sing.

I would call what Ronnie did is racketeering.