Saturday, July 16, 2005

Jonathan Randel -- Prosecution Precedent

I'm pretty sure you don't remember Randel. Neither did I until I read John Dean's It Doesn't Look Good for Karl Rove on the CNN website this morning.

Randel was a DEA analyst working in the Atlanta office who fingered British Conservative Lord Michael Ashcroft, major contributor to American conservative causes, as a money-launderer who was being ignored by the DEA.

Ashcroft sued, found out that it was Randel who leaked the information, and pressured US attorneys to pursue Randel. The Bush Dept of Justice dutifully investigated and slammed Randel with an 18-count indictment that was the equivalent of throwing a ton of shit against a wall in the sure knowledge that some of it was going to stick. (This is a common Repug tactic, as you know.)

Signifantly, one of the counts was a violation of Section 641, Title 18 USC, which prohibits "theft" of government records and information for non-governmental purposes. This is the statute that covers leaks.

Faced with a total of 500 years, Randel pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in federal prison.

The US Attorney boasted that the conviction of Randel would serve as a stellar example to the nation and the world as to how the administration would handle government leakers.

Really? Goodbye, Karl.

If I were you, I'd give Martha Stewart a call and ask for some advice. But since she's a good Democrat (the only reason she was persecuted, by the way, in case you didn't know that), about the only thing she'll tell you is that you won't need to bring your own soap to the showers.



Anonymous said...

Don't tell me that he is related to the FAMOUS Ashcroft.
If he is, then this is more than interesting.

merlallen said...

But that's different, somehow. I haven't figured out how it's different, but a wingnut could explain it.