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Prosecutor won't file charges related to US attorney firings

From NBC's Pete Williams
After a nearly two-year investigation, a career federal prosecutor has concluded that no criminal charges should be filed in connection with the firings of nine U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration.

Nora Dannehy, a prosecutor from Connecticut appointed by Michael Mukasey when he was attorney general, concluded that no prosecutable criminal violations were committed in the most controversial of the firings -- of David Iglesias in New Mexico.

It's true, she concluded, that former Sen. Pete Domenici and other state Republicans tried to get him fired. But the investigation found that none of them -- or anyone in the White House or Justice Department -- sought to lean on him to bring voter fraud or public corruption cases against Democrats in the days leading up to the 2006 elections.

She concluded that Domenici's actions were at least partly politically motivated, but that "a public official does not violate the law by seeking the removal of a United States Attorney for his failure either to pursue a particular case the official believes is legitimate or to pursue certain types of cases the official believes should be brought, even if the public official's motives are partisan and inconsistent with the values" of the Justice Department.

She also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge any former Bush Justice Department officials with misleading Congress or other investigators about the reasons for the firings.

In a letter to members of Congress disclosing the prosecutor's conclusions, the Justice Department says investigators questioned more than 60 people and that the Bush White House "fully cooperated."