Upon winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel remarked: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Indeed, though daily we may bear witness to a myriad of injustices, we must never despair so much that we simply retreat into the shadows and cease to shine the light of truth upon the inhumanity occurring around us and to us. Silence is complicity. Protest is a duty.
Today, I protest this injustice, as reported by the Washington Post:
A political tempest over the mass firing of federal prosecutors escalated yesterday with allegations from the departing U.S. attorney in New Mexico, who said that two members of Congress attempted to pressure him to speed up a probe of Democrats just before the November elections.
David C. Iglesias, who left yesterday after more than five years in office, said he received the calls in October and believes that complaints from the lawmakers may have led the Justice Department to fire him late last year.
Iglesias also responded to allegations from Justice officials that he had performed poorly and was too often absent, citing positive job reviews and data showing increasing numbers of prosecutions. He also noted that he is required to serve 40 days a year in the Navy Reserve.
Iglesias declined to name the lawmakers who called him, but he said in an interview: “I didn’t give them what they wanted. That was probably a political problem that caused them to go to the White House or whomever and complain that I wasn’t a team player.”
Iglesias’s allegations were met with strong denials from the Justice Department yesterday but prompted the Democratic-controlled House and Senate judiciary committees to announce that they would issue subpoenas for testimony from Iglesias and other fired prosecutors if necessary. Iglesias said he would not testify unless subpoenaed. [full text]