Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Extra! Extra! Read All about It!!

This is a Page One story: U.S. Attorney Became Target After Rebuffing Justice Dept. -

Reading the article, this is what I learn:

US Attorney John Brownlee was working the Oxycontin case and the night before the planned settlement, he got a call from Michael Elston, then chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. Here’s how Mr. Brownlee describes what happened:

“In his testimony and in an interview afterward, Brownlee recounted that he asked Elston whether he was calling for his boss, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, and Elston replied, "No."

"I told him to leave it alone, to go away," Brownlee said, "and he did."

The article doesn't actually mention what he rebuffed. Mr. Brownlee settled the case the next day as he had planned.

I guess this is all seems ominous because “[e]ight days later, his name appeared on a list compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials had suggested be fired.” Of course, this then seems less ominous when you realize that of the three – Brownlee, Elston & McNulty – only John Brownlee is still employed.

So to sum up: someone further up the chain of command calls an underling, nothing much gets said, a settlement occurs as originally planned and a person possibly targeted for a firing doesn’t get fired. Woodward & Bernstein – move over.

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