Erickson Defends Buck: “Shouldn’t This Make Him a Hero?”

Eric Erickson, founder of the influential conservative blog RedState–who has consistently supported GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck over Jane Norton, well before it was fashionable–swings into action today in defense of Buck over last week’s U.S. Attorney story.

It’s clear that the U.S. Attorney is pursuing the cases to rebuild his own career and again run for higher office. It’s clear the ATF wants these cases in the headlines as the Clinton Administration begins a renewed push to cripple the legal sales of firearms.

Even worse, internal memoranda confidentially circulating within the U.S. Attorney’s office clearly state that the cases are weak and probably should not be prosecuted.

What do you do if you are the Assistant United States Attorney?

That’s not a hypothetical. Ken Buck faced that exact scenario. And what did he do?

He risked reprimand and told the defense about the memos…

How is it not awesome that a man risked his entire legal career to shut down political motivated prosecutions designed not just to advance the political career of a Democrat hack, but also designed to undermine the legal permitting and purchasing of firearms?

This should qualify Ken Buck for automatic hero status…

Erickson’s defense of Buck echoes what we said about this scandal in general: it won’t hurt Buck in the primary, since the underlying gun-rights issues tend to provoke sympathy for Buck from many conservatives, not outrage. At the same time, Erickson’s appeal to gun-rights ideology over Buck’s duty as a prosecutor won’t stand up to scrutiny in the general election, where voters will think more dispassionately about the issues involved. Besides, we don’t really think Buck wants to be labeled as the heroic prosecutor who, uh, didn’t prosecute the bad guys–that’s not a winning formula.

For the present, though, Buck can count himself lucky to have a persuasive friend.

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ajb says:

    Wasn’t Suthers the U.S. Attorney?

    Or am I remembering that wrong?

  2. Republican 36 says:

    He is missing some very important facts.

    First, when Mr. Buck contacted the defense attorneys in this case, he was no longer chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s office. He had no right to take matters into his own hands.

    Second, cases are declined all the time by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys office, many times in what are known as declination letters which explain to the agents what evidence they need to investigate and develop if the prosecutor is going to go forward with the case. So it is no surprise that other prosecutors who had looked at this previously turned down the case. Also, agents may sometimes take a case to a different prosecutor after another one has turned down the case and the second prosecutor may decide the evidence is there to prove the case and moves forward with the indictment. When Mr. Buck unilaterally intervened he did not know the status of the investigation. He simply decided he would undermine the prosecution for his own reasons.

    Do we want a system where prosecutors can unilaterally, outside the scope of their offical duties, decide to undermine other criminal cases they aren’t assigned to handle?

    Third, Mr. Buck wasn’t even assigned to this case. He inserted himself in a case outside his jurisdiction and in a manner that was clearly unethical. He had no authroity to intervene.

    Finally, John Suthers, a Republican U.S. Attorney, went forward with the ethics complaint against Mr. Buck. He obviously believed Mr. Buck had acted unethically.

    And Mr. Suther’s was right.  

    • bjwilson83 says:

      So I don’t really see that it matters much now. He’s not running for attorney general.

      • OuiserBoudreaux says:

        An interesting position for one supporting a candidate who’s a district attorney

        • bjwilson83 says:

          Believe it or not, there are far worse things than having a conversation about a case.

          • OuiserBoudreaux says:

            …would be to abandon ethical obligations and to assist criminal defendants to avoid criminal liability.  Like what Buck did.

          • Voyageur says:

            You’re dangerously close to making sense.

            I admit he made a mistake 10 years ago, as does he.

              That’s actually a fairly reasonable thing to say.  Are you all right?  

              Did you finally find your Ritalin?

              Or are you just trying to fake us out so you can get back to claiming that global climate change is a hoax?

            • bjwilson83 says:

              Hmm, I wonder why? You’ve got Dem majorities. Maybe… the American people agree with me on this one?

              • Voyageur says:

                The holocaust never happened either, right?

                And Obama wasn’t born in this country.

                And fluoridated water poisons our purity of essence.

                Doo dee, doo dee, doo dee,

                the voice of BJ is heard in the land.

              • Steve Harvey says:

                is to make sure that government faithfully represents the interests of the governed while still ensuring that it does so effectively. That means we don’t make policy by plebiscite, simply taking an opinion poll, and doing whatever is most popular. Sometimes, leaders have to lead rather than follow.

                Cap-and-trade is suffering from a combination of political and economic circumstances, as well as the catastrophe in the gulf, making it “a bridge to far” at the moment. That doesn’t mean it isn’t good policy, and a necessary challenge to tackle.

                One of the great follies of political discourse, that I’ve noticed some small minded noise-makers on the right have a particular penchant for, is to claim to speak for “the American people.” Newsflash: I’m an “American person” too. And so are the majorities that voted for a Democratic president, a Democratic US senate, a Democratic US House of Representatives, a Democratic Colorado governor, a Democratic Colorado senate, a Democratic Colorado House of Representatives, a Democratic Colorado Secretary of State, a Democratic Colorado treasurer, two Democratic US senators from Colorado, and five out of seven Democratic Colorado congresspeople. And, despite my party’s overwhelming success in recent elections, I never, ever claim to speak for “the American people,” because no one has any right ever to make such a claim.

    • marilou says:

      Suthers admitted the incident was “unintentional” but because it was a violation, it had to be dealt with.  To make any more out of it is to do a disservice to an honest man.

      Does anyone wonder who leaked the contents of a private personnel file?

      Listen to the 5 p.m. hour of Caplis and Silverman.  I think that is better information.

        • Republican 36 says:

          Please cite evidence to back-up your assertion.

        • marilou says:

          “The United States Attorney, Tom Strickland, had left the office by the time Ken Buck  was reprimanded and the replacement U.S. Attorney found Ken Buck’s actions were not intentional.”

          • Republican 36 says:

            Mr. Erickson’s article doesn’t quote John Suthers.

            • marilou says:

              You have Buck’s word.  Do with it as you will.

              Do you honestly expect Suthers to come out and give you a quote? He’s up to his ears in Norton/Penry muck, and I imagine he’s in a bit of a panic at the moment.  Stan Garnett is a formidable opponent.

              • Republican 36 says:

                Mr. Suthers could certainly verify whether or not he said what is contained in Mr. Buck’s, June 28, 2010 backgrounder. If he didn’t say that then we all should have more serious concerns about Mr. Buck. Just post the document where Mr. Suther’s said it. Tha’s all that needs to be done.

                • marilou says:

                  released his personnel file to the Denver Post reporter.  Talk to the Post.

                  • Republican 36 says:

                    The one with the alleged quote from Attorney General Suthers. I want to judge for myself and have other do the same the context of Mr. Suther’s alleged statement.

                    Or, Mr. Buck can post it on his campaign website. Either will be fine.

                    Since Mr. Buck quoted Mr. Suther’s in his backgrounder, he certainly has the document to back-up that quote.

                    • Republican 36 says:

                      but it should be very simple for Mr. Buck’s campaign to post the document containing the quote he attributes to Mr. Suthers. Mr. Buck quoted Mr. Suthers in his bacgrounder yesterday, so he certainly has possession of the document where Mr. Suthers said that. It can be posted here or on Mr. Buck’s website.

                    • H-man says:

                      My sense is tracking down every nuance to a negative story driven by his opponent is not high on their list, being in the middle of a hard fought primary. Maybe after he is done with Norton, he will have a little time to catch his breath, maybe not.  Why don’t you send the campaign an email?  All I have access to is the Denver Post article and the same stuff you do.

                    • ajb says:

                      WTF? R-36 is asking for some documentation. That’s all. It’s pretty standard. Remember, (1) we’re talking about politicians and (2) this is the internet. People make shit up ALL THE TIME. If somebody give you an unattributed quote, you ask for the source. If they can’t produce the source, then it’s PROBABLY MADE UP.

                      You should be happy that Ken buck is now getting serious scrutiny. It means he’s in the game. But it also means that everything he says will be scrutinized. If he can’t back up his claims, especially in regard to this “scandal” (which was bound to come to light sooner or later), then maybe he’s not ready for prime time, eh?

                    • H-man says:

                      R-36 has stated he used to work in the US Attorneys office at the time this took place. Yesterday it was prove to me that dems passed on the case, I did by quoting the Denver Post. Today it’s produce this. If you were running Buck’s campaign right now, are you going to get sidetracked with R-36?  I wouldn’t and I sure as hell don’t have the time or info anymore than he does.

                    • Republican 36 says:

                      My point is really simple. In his June 28, 2010 backgrounder on this issue, Mr. Buck put quotes around a statement he alleges Mr. Suther’s made but he didn’t cite to any document where the quote came from. I want to know the source for the quote and I want to see the document. By seeing the actual document, I can tell if the quote is correct and whether or not it is in or out of context. Mr. Buck’s campaign should be able to cite to it and post it without any trouble.

  3. OuiserBoudreaux says:

    …to all the prosecutors in his office to disclose any and all confidential info to the defense whenever an individual prosecutor feels the urge to do so.  What fun!

  4. dwyer says:

    Does anyone know why the F.B.I. was not involved with the investigation?  I thought that they were involved when murder involved civil rights Shoals. the African-American student who was killed, after being called the n word….

    And how would Strickland have been involved in that decision, if at all?

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    He risked reprimand and told the defense about the memos…

    How is it not awesome that a man risked his entire legal career to shut down political motivated prosecutions designed not just to advance the political career of a Democrat hack, but also designed to undermine the legal permitting and purchasing of firearms?

    First off, this is acting as judge & jury. If every lawyer acts a free agent we are no longer under the rule of law.

    Second, if the issue was the U.S. Attorney on a political vendetta, then the place to go is the Attorney General and/or the press. Talking to the defense attorneys is not a means to address that issue.

    Erik Erickson is looking for excuses rather than speaking honestly about this.

    • H-man says:

      Prosecutors are afforded absolute immunity in their decisions to prosecute.  So there is no feedback mechanism available when an US Attorney sets his eyes on violating the civil rights of others, and pursues charges he should not, for his personal political gain.  When everyone in the office turned down the case and Strickland pursued a 37 count felony indictment against three defendants, two of which were found innocent of all charges and one of whom was found guilty of a paperwork misdemeanor and given 1 day of probation, a wrong was committed that many were complicit in at various levels.

      Strickland was off to greener pastures before the Judge weighed in. He is the person that is responsible for the wrong in my view.  Strickland is the person who put the parts in motion.  

      If the right thing to do, and I suppose it was in one sense, was to write a memo to the effect that the case sucked and should not be brought, as apparently Stephanie Villafuerte did, that system does not help the three victims.  That would have been a better course for Buck to take but he was put in a postion where prosecutors are made not to feel very good about their role in society and if he was going to make a mistake, it was not one that I find much fault with.

      Nobody can serieously think this was done because the defendants may be Republicans, because all the democrats also thought it should not be brought, or 10 years later they donated $700 to his Senate campaign.

      • marilou says:

        must be stopped.  Tom Strickland was totally lacking in ethics.  He would have sent his mother down the river to win that Senate seat.  Twice, the voters turned him away.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I can see it being a mistake in judgement, and we all have those. I don’t see it as being defensible as the right thing to do. And I think you do both Ken Buck and our legal system a disservice to pretend it was the right response.

        • H-man says:

          Was it right to do nothing?

          If he went to the press, he is in the same situation, just more publicly.

          That’s what sucks about being a subordinate when your boss is corrupt.  

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