US Atty Biskupic Should Resign

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Madison, Wisconsin—“Let’s not make a federal case out of it.”

That’s a rejoinder declaring an issue to be unimportant, and, consequently, to be accorded minor attention equal to its diminished significance.

US Atty Steven Biskupic is in charge of making federal cases for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Biskupic, in fact, is the most powerful law enforcement officer in this district, with authority over the FBI and all federal law enforcement agencies.

He has the power — just through investigating a single citizen — to render financial ruin, among other havoc that a federal prosecution can inflict upon a family.

Granted such vast, discretionary authority, it is a truism that this office should adhere to a heightened code of ethics and accountability.

The office ought to be impartial, non-partisan, and fact-based in all facets of its individual prosecutions, and in its deciding which cases to prosecute.

Too often Steven Biskupic has failed to be impartial, non-partisan, and fact-based. Instead, he has chosen to pursue the narrow, partisan agenda of Karl Rove and George Bush, joining these reckless and anti-democratic forces, and in so doing has betrayed the citizens residing in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Biskupic is a corrupt public official and ought to resign.

Georgia Thompson

Tomorrow is back at her old job as a state purchasing supervisor. But the costs of the Biskupic prosecution against her have been grave—loss of Thompson’s home, her retirement savings, and the psychological damage inflicted while facing the machinery of an unfeeling prosecution determined to injure.

On April 20, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (that in an extraordinary event 15 days earlier had ordered Thompson freed because it found her clearly innocent and Biskupic’s office wanted her kept jailed pending appeal, calling the prosecution’s evidence “beyond thin”) issued its written opinion by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook. The 14-page opinion skewers Biskupic’s prosecution as:

- An obvious logical error, Post hoc ergo propter hoc, (after this, therefore on account of this) (p.3)

- Violating the Rule of Lenity, the clear judicial doctrine that “ambiguity in criminal legislation be read against the prosecution” (pp 7,8)

- “… implausible” (p. 10)

- “ … preposterous” (p. 11)

And on and on, the opinion is a devastating commentary on the office that made the novel and implausible Thompson case.

So why, during an election year, did Biskupic insist on this case that predictably became a major Republican campaign issue?

Biskupic’s office said only the “facts” drove the prosecution, an utterly discredited statement.

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have written Attorney General Gonzales demanding all documents related to the Georgia Thompson case.

Republican members of the Committee declined to ask for the Thompson documents.

Voter fraud prosecutions

I’ll borrow , “In all, (Biskupic’s office) indicted 14 individuals for either being a felon on probation or parole who voted in November 2004 or for voting twice in that contest. All but one of those charged with felonies were African-American, and all were Milwaukee residents.”

The prosecutions fit precisely the concerns of the Wisconsin Republican party expressed in its 30-page report on Wisconsin voter fraud prepared for Karl Rove, though Biskupic publicly concluded himself after the 2004 election that widespread voter fraud is not a serious problem.

Nevertheless, the victims of Biskupic’s subsequent voter fraud prosecutions include Kimberly Prude, imprisoned because she voted once while on probation. At a Prude hearing, Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago said, “I find this whole prosecution mysterious...I don't know whether the Eastern District of Wisconsin goes after every felon who accidentally votes. It is not like she voted five times. She cast one vote.”

Why

Biskupic was on a to be fired.

But Biskupic says it was “” that his job could have been in jeopardy.

So why did veteran prosecutor Steven Biskupic (who has a lot of liberal friends I would note) marry Karl Rove’s machine and his partisan recklessness, defiling his office?

That’s a question a lot of people here are asking.

The best his defenders can come up with is that Biskupic did not become a Karl Rove tool, but rather reacted to the Milwaukee media and talk radio buzz.

That’s not displaying a commitment to being impartial and fact-based.

But for the victims of his prosecution it’s less important why, and more important that Biskupic did commit these prosecutorial misdeeds.

I’ll borrow from F. Scott Fitzgerald: "They were careless people, (Steven Biskupic and Karl Rove) — they smashed up things … then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

Appeals courts and lawyers have to clean up after Biskupic and Rove, while ordinary people struggle to put their lives back together.

As for Biskupic, he should never again be allowed to serve in public office, and should resign effective immediately.

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Published

April 22, 2007 - 8:11am

Author

randomness