U.S. Attorney nominee refuses to tell all

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Here we go again.

In a process to make sure that people aren’t put in a position of conflict of interest, U.S. Attorney’s are required to put their client names on the application form.

This is to keep former clients cases from being affected one way or another by a former lawyer in their employ.

Once again, it doesn’t count for Barack’s friends though.

Paul J. Fishman, nominated to serve as the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, is citing the privacy interests of the clients – an exemption that is permitted under federal ethics laws, but that leaves prosecutors on an honor system to police their own conflicts, ethics watchdogs say.

While this is permissible, this also leaves room for corruption down the road if a particular client comes up in front of the attorney. You’ll forgive me, considering the last five month’s worth of nominees problems, if I don’t necessarily want to trust in Barack Obama’s nominee’s sense of honor.

[This attorney is holding back] the names of “approximately 37 confidential clients,” saying they cannot be named because they are involved in grand jury or other secret investigations.

Oh, I don’t see any problem here. But then again, it isn’t just me.

“If this person is going to be able to exercise the law enforcement powers of the U.S. government, you want to make sure he doesn’t have any conflicts,” said Gregory Ogden, a law professor at Pepperdine University who has taught ethics.

“To some extent, you have to trust the guy’s ethical integrity and experience and balance that against the possible concern that he might not be as vigorous with people he’s represented.”

I’m not entirely sure that’s possible at this point. I don’t know – maybe it’s splitting hairs, but I can’t see the harm in listing the names of the clients simply to make sure their folders never cross his desk. I know in his mind he has this right, but what about the rights of the people he will be representing in the position of U.S. Attorney? Don’t they have the right to feel comfortable in his ability to perform his duties without any likelihood of impropriety?

What makes me uncomfortable?

Mr. Fishman reported more than $2.3 million in “law partnership income” since the start of 2008 on his ethics form. Although more than half of his client list remains secret, Mr. Fishman’s public list reveals involvement in several high-profile and politically sensitive cases prosecuted by the same office that he is seeking to run.

Oh, isn’t that just cozy?

If this man is to receive a confirmation that just breezes through, someone else’s ethics should be questioned.

Oh, wait – most of their ethics are being questioned by the people they represent in the Senate.



3 Responses

  1. This seems to be the standard for this administration starting with Mr. Obama’s affiliation with ACORN and his refusal to open his own records.

  2. I hope that Ebola sweeps through the administration.

    Never have I read about so many dubious characters being given a pass on their shady behavior and then being entrusted with more power (and potential for corruption).

    And never has the electorate been so disinterested, thoughtlessly trusting in the divinity of Obama:


    • I agree with everything below the Ebola comment – can’t say I would wish anything like that on anyone. I know you meant that as a joke – I just don’t go there 🙂

      Checked your site out – nice looking site – I’ll add you to the blogroll

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