NOB HILL--Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias only made one mistake when he recounted his telephone calls with Congresswoman Heather Wilson and Senator Pete Domenici: he didn't report the conversations to the Justice Dept. immediately. The story is well told in tonight's ABQ Tribune. And he explained it on NPR tonight by saying he was "stunned" at the perceived pressure being put on him by Wilson and Domenici to bring indictments against local Democrats before last November's election. He was too stunned to report it. Then, he said, he thought everything would just blow over. He added, "I was wrong."
Boy howdy. He is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee next Tuesday where, he says, he will be under oath to tell the truth. I might add this needs to be the WHOLE truth.
I believe that Iglesias, a loyal and dedicated Republican, consciously did Wilson and Domenici a favor by not reporting their actions before that election. Wilson's contest against Patricia Madrid was close. In fact Wilson might have been trailing in the polls when she made that call. Wilson was trying to get the public to associate Madrid (Patsy she called her) with hispanic politicians with crooked reputations. Manny Aragon's name was rumored to be in the indictments; certainly this would hurt the Madrid campaign. Heather Wilson and her mentor Pete Domenici wanted those indictments now...not after the election.
To his credit Iglesias did not rush the indictments (In fact they have yet to come down). But he also did not report their phone calls to the Justice Dept. like he was supposed to. Would the Justice Dept. under the Bush administration have done anything? Who knows. Would the calls have been made public at that time? Probably not.
Still, I am sure that Iglesias was certain that he was doing Wilson and Domenici a huge favor in "forgetting" about the calls. Maybe that seems obvious, but this would then be yet another violation of the public trust...and something that Iglesias probably would not admit to doing without being "under oath." He will be under oath next Tuesday.
So there were two actions here. Wilson and Domenici sought to influence the timing of legal proceedings, and Iglesias hid their phone calls. He hid them until he was fired.
How he must have felt everything was going to be okay! Sure he hadn't rushed the indictments surrounding the building of the courthouse, but then he had something on Wilson and Domenici as well. He was keeping their secret.
Until he was fired. What really burned him up was the reason given for his dismissal: poor performance. Livid, he recounted those phone calls, and chose not to go down alone.