As noted in today's News Roundup, US Attorney Chris Christie was on an initial list of attorneys to be dismissed (along with 25 others) but was then ?pulled off the list? before the decision was made to
According to the Washington Post article linked above (emphasis added):
The same e-mail also listed prosecutor Christopher J. Christie in New Jersey, a major GOP donor who has undertaken several high-profile public-corruption probes -- including one into the real estate deals of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) -- and who announced indictments in a terrorism case last week.
I was completely shocked. No one had ever told me that my performance had been anything but good," Christie said. "I specifically asked him why he put my name on the list. He said he couldn't give me an explanation."
He added that Elston apologized and that he refused to accept the apology. "I still to this day don't know how I got taken off the list," Christie said.
Now, now, Mr. Christie. You don?t know how you got taken off the list?
Well, let's take a look at a pattern that seems to have emerged with respect to the US Attorney firings. Washington District Attorney John McKay, a man who received excellent performance reviews, was fired. And coincidentally, his dismissal is widely speculated to have been related to his not bringing (nonexistent) voter fraud charges in the 2004 Gubernatorial election.
New Mexico District Attorney David Iglesias was added to the list on Election Day 2006 after being threatened by NM Senator Pete Dominici (a republican) for not bringing corruption charges against a Democrat before the 2006 election.
Arkansas District Attorney Bud Cummins, the one US Attorney that Alberto Gonzales and his team backtracked from earlier assertions of "performance related dismissal", was replaced with Tim Griffin, who worked under Karl Rove at the Republican National Committee, and was responsible for a "caging" scheme to disenfranchise minority voters who were stationed overseas during the 2004 election:
A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters in the last presidential election, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts.
Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were obtained by BBC Television Newsnight, London. They were attached to emails accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.
One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.
Here's how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, "Do not forward", to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as "undeliverable."
The lists of soldiers of "undeliverable" letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters' registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballot being counted.
Hmmmmm...participate in a scheme to disenfranchise voters, you get a promotion to US Attorney. Don't play along? You get fired.
So when there were leaks to the press about a corruption probe into Democratic Senator Menendez just two months before the 2006 election (mind you, the race was pretty close for much of 2006), one had to wonder if politics were involved. Add that to the fact that Christie was a "Bush Pioneer" and the fact that this was not only largely dismissed by the Philadelphia Enquirer at the time but nothing ever came of the probe.
Gee, Mr. Christie...do you still have no idea why you were taken off the list of US Attorneys that were to be fired? I can think of at least
$$100,000 little reasons, as well as one big favor other reason why you were taken off the list.