The Senate Judiciary goes after a former federal prosecutor for western Missouri, wondering if he violated his own department’s guidelines with a controversial lawsuit. The questioning is part of the committee’s investigation into the replacement of eight federal prosecutors, most of them last year.
Bradley Schlotzman denies he had anything to do with the forced resignation of predecessor Todd Graves as the federal prosecutor in Kansas City, although he and Graves had disagreed in a civil rights case. Graves wanted civil penalties against a cross-burner. Schlozman and the Justice department did not. Graves prevailed and a few months later he was asked to resign.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has zeroed in on the criminal charges Schlozman filed against four members of the vote-gathering group ACORN just before the 2006 election—-despite the Justice Department’s own guidelines saying charges are not to be filed in election investigations until after the election.
Committee chairman Patrick Leahy was incredulous when Schlozman maintained his suit was not politically-oriented. “You’re amazing,” he told Schlozman.
Schlozman told the committee he checked with higher-ups in the Justice Department and they told him to file the charges that four people submitted forged voter registrations. Leahy reacted angrily when Schlozman said the Justice Department does not time prosecutions to elections. “Yes they do,” he said, his voice rising.
All of the committee members questioning Schlozman were Democrats.