One of Alberto Gonzales’ handpicked interim US Attorneys has just cost the taxpayers at least $100 million. This is what happens when loyalty trumps competence.
Telecommunications entrepreneur Walter Anderson pled guilty to tax evasion, but U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the binding plea agreement listed the wrong statute. This problem could have been overcome had prosecutors not failed to include any discussion of probation as is routine in such deals.
Because of the technicality, Judge Friedman said, “I’ve come to the conclusion, very reluctantly, that I have no authority to order restitution. . . . This is a very poorly drafted agreement.”
The case was prosecuted by the office of the interim U.S. Attorney for D.C., Jeffrey A. Taylor. Taylor was appointed directly by Attorney General Gonzales without Senate confirmation in November 2006 under a provision of the Patriot Act that Congress has recently voted to reverse.
Sure enough, Taylor came straight from the Bush Administration. He served as Counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Gonzales for four years prior to his selection. Before that he worked as an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, where he actually participated in the writing of the Patriot Act.
Good grief! This guy graduated from Harvard Law School. Was it working in the White House that dumbed him down?