Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) has really stepped into it. Specifically, Senator Domenici has admitted that he contacted U.S. Attorney David Iglesias last year about an ongoing corruption investigation that included at least one Democratic lawmaker. Domenici now regrets making the call, but categorically denies he pressured or threatened Iglesias on the course of action the investigation should take. Sounds simple, right?
Unfortunately, there is the little matter that in 2006 Senator Domenici called upon the Department of Justice to fire Mr. Iglesias. Oops, that doesn't look too good.
Senator Domenici alleges he made the call for removal long before he contacted the U.S. Attorney about his ongoing corruption investigation. Okay, this makes everything hunky dory again, right?
Unless . . . one considers that Senator Domenici now was in a position to significantly shape the investigation. How so? Well, it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine the Senator dropping his call for removal if say, the investigation went in a particular way. Gasp! Unfortunately for Mr. Iglesias he didn't change the investigation and ultimately was fired.
Congress has now gotten involved and hearings will begin Tuesday. Mr. Iglesias has been called to testify. Congress should ask the former U.S. Attorney if he felt Senator Domenici was asking him to alter his investigation in trade for his job. Unfortunately, it's unlikely the good Senator from New Mexico will be required to attend. Shame, it would be nice to see Mr. Domenici give his side of the story under a little pressure.