When US Attorney Troy Eid decided not to prosecute three men who said they were going to assassinate Senator Obama during the Democratic National Convention here in Denver, some people wondered if Eid had biased his decision. Considering Eid’s background and history, it wasn’t surprising.
Eid’s appointment was, if you’ll remember, controversial. He had lobbying ties to Jack Abramoff – possibly while still on the Colorado state payroll. He received the post over the recommended candidate, William Leone, allegedly based on a Karl Rove decision.m Eid also survived the now-infamous Bush US Attorney purge – one of the most frequent questions asked after the purge has been “how much should we worry about those that weren’t purged?”
Yesterday, the liberal news aggregation site Raw Story posted an
investigative follow-up on the assassination plot, and it calls Eid’s decision “very unusual”. Further, it alleges that Eid may have misled the public and diverged from standard practices of law in refusing to prosecute the assassination plot.
I’ve excerpted some of the findings below:
Legal experts say that Eid’s definition of true threat directly conflicts with the statu[t]e covering threats to presidential candidates, 18 U.S.C. 879, which defines the threat as “whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate.”
Eid has been inconsistent in prosecuting threats against candidates, choosing to prosecute a prisoner sending white powder to McCain’s Colorado office.
According to a federal affidavit, one of the men arrested, Nathan Dwaine Johnson, said that another in the group, Sean Robert Adolph, had come to Denver to shoot Obama during his DNC acceptance speech. Johnson told the Secret Service that Adolph said “it wouldn’t matter if he killed Obama because he was going to jail on his pending felony charges anyway.”
The affidavit goes on to detail Johnson admitting to a Service Service agent, “Adolph had in fact threatened to kill Obama on a prior occasion [as well].” Johnson further related that Adolph said that he wanted to kill Obama on the day of his inauguration [should he win the presidency] and additionally stated that Adolph said he would specifically use a 22-250 sniper rifle and high-powered scope[…]
So we have an actual plot, by a hardened criminal, admitted without coercion by one of the criminal’s “friends”. It might be noted that Adolph was on the Weld County Most Wanted list and that Weld County officials thought him capable of killing without compunction.
The federal affidavits […] raise questions for what’s missing from them — specifically, any instance of federal authorities asking Adolph about the alleged threats and plans to assassinate Obama.
One law enforcement official close to the case, who spoke to RAW STORY on the condition of anonymity, said, “I would think that question would be asked.” This source also confirmed that the idea of a potential plot against Obama “was first raised by Johnson,” not by authorities questioning him. Another law enforcement official close to the investigation told RAW STORY he was given strict orders not to speak to the media. Asked if he would have a lot to say about this case if he didn’t fear speaking, he said, “Yes.”
What has been hidden from us, Attorney Eid?
In downplaying the threat, the US Attorney’s spokesman also characterized the physical evidence recovered from the suspects “including, along with methamphetamine, two high-powered rifles with scopes (one threaded with a silencer), 85 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, wigs, two walkie-talkies, three fake IDs, tactical pants and camouflage gear” as merely “tools of the drug trade.”
[Michael] Levine [a highly decorated DEA agent] also disputed the characterization of the weaponry recovered. “They are not tools of the [drug] trade”. [Levine also noted that the amount of meth recovered is user-level, not dealer-level.]
So we’re not talking about the guys thinking about attacking Fort Dix, who didn’t even have weapons, or the guys from Miami who thought the right shoes were important to being terrorists. These guys had high-powered sniper rifles, scopes, and fake IDs.
Back in September, Eid dismissed concerns about his decisions as blog-driven hype. Based on this report – and the now almost commonplace occurrence of blogs delivering hard-hitting investigative reports – I would suggest that Attorney Eid re-think his response to these allegations and come clean on the details surrounding his decision. If we can’t trust the legal system, we don’t have a viable country Mr. Eid.