Appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico in 2001, Iglesias is the author of In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration, which tells the story of his December 2006 dismissal and that of eight other U.S. attorneys.
You spoke out against the firings to several media outlets in 2007, but what led you to write this book as well?
I wanted to establish that firings were unprecedented, and that the public should care that there was an attempt to politicize the Justice Department. There have been numerous steps to ensure that politics don't become part of the Justice Department rubric. To give it a little context, U.S. attorneys usually serve as long as the President. It's extremely uncommon that attorneys are fired. To the extent that that happens, it's for misconduct. In one year, they fired nine; in one day, the pushed out seven of us. I was one of those seven.
What do you believe led to your firing?
There were two major reasons why I was forced to resign. I did not prosecute any voter fraud cases. The Republican Party was convinced that there was massive voter fraud in New Mexico. I initially believed that was the case and set up a task force and a hotline. At the conclusion of over a year of reviewing the evidence, I didn't have one case I could prosecute. You can't indict people just for the fun of it. You have to have a provable case.
The second reason was that my office was investigating a very prominent politician for corruption. The case was taking a long time, as white-collar cases do. It would have had a political benefit to Heather Wilson, who was down in the polls about nine points. I didn't rush it, and my name was the last to be added to the fired list.
I had not been in any trouble ...1
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