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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Senate Ethics Probe of Domenici Intensifies

Uh oh. According to a report by Jason Leopold and Matt Renner of Truthout, Sen. Pete Domenici could be facing more bad news about his late 2006 phone call to then U.S. Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico. Iglesias has testified before Congress that he interpreted the call to his home as "pressure" by Domenici to rush an indictment in a corruption case as election day neared. Excerpts:

The US Senate Select Committee on Ethics has stepped up its probe of Pete Domenici, the Republican senator from New Mexico ... Over the past couple of weeks, the Ethics Committee has been interviewing witnesses - including staffers from the US attorney's office in New Mexico - who were privy to a phone call Domenici made to Iglesias last November ... according to the senior staffers.

... According to some senior staffers working for lawmakers who sit on the Ethics Committee, the six-month preliminary investigation into Domenici has turned up enough evidence to open a formal, public investigation into the New Mexico senator, having determined that Domenici acted inappropriately and that he may have violated Senate Ethics rules when he called Iglesias to ask whether Aragon would be indicted before the state's voters went to the polls last year.

But it's unclear if the Ethics Committee will end up launching a formal probe. A sticking point, Ethics Committee staffers say, is the long-standing "ethics truce" between Democrats and Republicans that dates back to the mid-1990s where lawmakers from both political parties agreed not to file ethics complaints against each other.

Oh that's a good excuse, isn't it? Just what we need, an "ethics truce." You might want to contact members of the Senate Ethics Committee to urge them to responsibly carry out their duties instead of playing patsy with their friends across the aisle.

The Truthout piece also reports that the House Ethics Committee is continuing to pursue its preliminary investigation into similar claims involving Rep. Heather Wilson (NM-01).

If you'd like to help defeat Domenici and Wilson, consider making a donation -- no matter how small -- to the New Mexico netroots Beat Back Bush New Mexico fundraising page at ActBlue that supports the candidacies of Don Wiviott for Senate and Martin Heinrich for Congress.

To read our previous posts about the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, visit our archive.

September 19, 2007 at 03:14 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Ethics & Campaign Reform, Local Politics, U.S. Attorney Iglesias | Permalink


Wait a minute. Iglesias testified that Domenici reached him at home early in the morning. How could any employees of the US Attorney's office been privy to that call? Something's wrong in this post.

Posted by: Does not compute | Sep 19, 2007 11:12:44 PM

I don't believe "privy" necessarily means they were present for the call. They could have been told about the call by Iglesias immediately after he received it, they could have learned what Domenici said before it became an issue in the media or Iglesias got fired.

Definition of privy: Made a participant in knowledge of something private or secret: was privy to classified information.


Posted by: Can Compute | Sep 20, 2007 12:05:27 AM