The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings today on the Bush administration’s purge of at least eight U.S. Attorneys. For the first time, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias publicly detailed how he was pressured by two members of Congress, and said that he believed his resistance to that pressure led to his firing.
Iglesias first described the call he received “at home” from Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), saying it “was the only time I had ever received a call from any member of Congress while at home during my tenure.” Domenici called to prod Iglesias “about corruption matters or the corruption cases [involving Democrats] that had been widely reported in the local media.” Here’s how Iglesisas described the conversation:
Domenici: “Are these going to be filed before November?”
Iglesias: “I didn’t think so.”
Domenici: “I’m very sorry to hear that.” [Line goes dead]
Iglesias also detailed his call from Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), which occurred roughly two weeks prior to Domenici’s call. Iglesias said that after some light chit-chat, Wilson said “she’d been hearing about sealed indictments” and asked Iglesias for details. “The second she said any question about sealed indictments, red flags went up in my head,” Iglesias said. “We specifically cannot talk about a sealed indictment.” Iglesias likened it to calling up a nuclear scientist and saying, “let’s talk about those secret codes, those launch codes.”