PURGEGATE FALLOUT….Hey, remember that local corruption case that Heather Wilson and Pete Domenici wanted the New Mexico U.S. Attorney to file before the November midterms? It would have been sweet. After all, there’s nothing like a juicy corruption probe against the opposition party to help the good guys in a close election.

Well, indictments have finally been returned. Bud Cummins, one of the other fired U.S. Attorneys, writes about it in Salon today:

On Friday, a New Mexico federal grand jury returned an indictment against New Mexico Senate President Pro Tem Manny Aragon and others of conspiring to skim $4.2 million in public funds. This happens to be the culmination of an investigation supervised by my colleague David Iglesias, before he was forced to resign. It is also the same case that stimulated improper telephone calls to Mr. Iglesias from a U.S. senator and a congresswoman

It is almost a certainty that the talented and hardworking law enforcement agents and prosecutors working on this significant case will now have to battle accusations of improper political motivation behind the prosecution. There will be no real basis for it, but they will have to answer the allegations nonetheless. Before the U.S. attorneys scandal, the defense team never would have considered using those allegations. Now, it is almost a certainty that they will be raised because of the way the administration carried out the U.S. attorney dismissals.

Way to go, Republicans! Your sleazy partisanship has given the defense a great case. Proud days indeed.

(By the way, a note for you nonsubscribers: the daypass ad you have to sit through to read Salon content is shorter and less annoying than in the past. Only about ten seconds or so. If you haven’t clicked through a Salon link lately because you didn’t feel like sitting through the ad, you might want to give them another try.)

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