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Ex U.S. Attorney Decries ‘Secret Hit Lists’

Posted May 9, 2007 12:50 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Todd Graves of Missouri wasn’t among the eight fired U.S. attorneys, but he was on a preliminary Justice Department list of prosecutors targeted for removal. And he was also targeted by an aide to Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo., without the senator’s knowledge.

A spokeswoman for Bond says the senator’s former legal counsel, Jack Bartling, secretly contacted the White House and recommended that Graves be replaced because of ethics concerns surrounding two of his relatives, according to a Washington Post story.

Graves, who resigned in March 2006, issued a statement to the Post that read: "This would be humorous if we were not talking about the United States Department of Justice. First, you tell me that DOJ staffers were making secret hit lists and my name was on one of them. Then, you tell me that a staffer for Missouri's senior senator had a hit list so secret that not even the senator knew about it."

Some lawmakers are concerned that Graves may have been forced out because he refused to put his weight behind a Democratic vote fraud lawsuit.


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