The fallout of the U.S. Attorney purge is starting to hit the Justice Department in federal courtrooms around the nation, says the Los Angeles Times. Defense lawyers in a growing number of cases are questioning the motives of government lawyers who brought charges against their clients. They are citing the furor over U.S. attorney dismissals as evidence that their cases may have been infected by politics. Justice officials say those concerns are unfounded and are desperate measures by desperate defendants.
Missouri lawyers have invoked the controversy in challenging last year’s indictment of a company owned by a prominent Democrat, on suspicion of violating federal wage and hour laws. A lawyer in a federal child pornography case defended his client in Minnesota in part by questioning the motives of the Republican U.S. attorney, who is under scrutiny in the congressional investigation into the prosecutor purge. B. Todd Jones, a former U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, said such arguments are “given credence in the public eye because they are seeing that maybe there were political decisions made. Any defense lawyer worth their salt is going to say this is a political prosecution that shouldn’t have been brought.”