Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rove and Philip Morris

Karl Rove did deals with Philip Morris during his rise to power, and after Bush took control Rove squashed the Federal prosecution of Philip Morris...
Why did Gonzales resign? | Salon.com

...Typical of the political interference was the 2005 federal racketeering case against big tobacco companies in which government witnesses were suddenly withdrawn, suggested penalties lessened and lawyers ordered to read a weak closing statement prepared for them. Sharon Y. Eubanks, the 22-year veteran federal prosecutor in the case, revealed to the Washington Post in March 2007 that the chain of command ran directly through the attorney general's office. "The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said," Eubanks said. "And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public ... Political interference is happening at Justice across the department. When decisions are made now in the Bush attorney general's office, politics is the primary consideration ... The rule of law goes out the window."

Rove's interest in tobacco cases was hardly new. From 1991 through 1996, while guiding the ascent of Bush to the Texas governorship and during his early years in that office, Rove worked as a $3,000-a-month consultant to Philip Morris. In 1996, when Texas Attorney General Dan Morales filed a suit against tobacco companies seeking compensation for state Medicaid funds spent on workers who fell ill because of smoking, Rove conducted a dirty trick against him -- a push poll spreading smears about him....
I assume he also squashed the antitrust case against Microsoft, but I don't know what the deal there was. I'm puzzled the Rove/Philip Morris connection didn't come up more often.

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