Two N.M. Lawmakers May Have Pressed Attorney Purge | Sunlight Foundation:
Back at the beginning of the year the Justice Department announced that it was replacing seven U.S. Attorneys in an unprecedented move. The Attorney ‘purge’ was able to take place due to a provision allowing the Justice Department to unilaterally replace U.S. Attorneys for any reason that was snuck into the PATRIOT Act reauthorization by Senator Arlen Specter ☼ (R-PA). McClatchy Newspapers reports today that one of those Attorneys, David Iglesias, U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, was pressured by Rep. Heather Wilson ☼ (R-NM) and Sen. Pete Domenici ☼ (R-NM) to bring down indictments on local Democratic officials prior to the 2006 midterm election. Iglesias refused and has since been purged by the Justice Department. If Wilson and Domenici did attempt to pressure a sitting U.S. Attorney for the political benefit of the oft-endangered Wilson it would be a serious ethical violation.