(Via Instapundit) No, not Fitzgerald: Illinois is a little too prominent right now for that kind of shenanigans. North Carolina, on the other hand...
John Edwards admits federal investigators are asking him questions. Federal subpoenas were issued Friday related to Mike Easley.
As the separate federal probes into a former senator and the former governor are emerging, Democrats are taking steps to replace the Republican prosecutor who is spearheading the inquiries about the highest-profile North Carolina Democrats of the past decade.
All the nearly 100 top federal prosecutors across the country serve at the will of the president. Any replacement for U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding, a Bush appointee who has kept a priority on public corruption cases from Raleigh to the coast, will be subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.
The process gives a key role in the decision to U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat who was in the state Senate leadership for several years until she unseated Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole in November. Already, Hagan has formed a panel to screen candidates. It is led by Burley Mitchell, former chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court who now works at the Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice law firm.
They're claiming that this screening process is 'coincidental' to the investigations, of course.
It is of course the right of the President to fire and hire US Attorneys as he pleases. Screening replacements is likewise well within the traditional role of US Senators. But - and this is important to consider - there is nothing stopping either from doing either for crassly partisan political purposes. Notice the lack from either of reassurances that US Attorney George Holding will of course be allowed to at least finish up his ongoing corruption investigations, even if he is looking into improprieties involving the former governor of North Carolina*. You could blame that lack on inexperience in both cases... but you could also blame that on a certain desire to quietly squash a potentially embarrassing scandal before it threatens to challenge the Democratic Party's lock on North Carolina's state government. If that happens, at the moment our options for stopping them are kind of limited. And by 'our' I mean 'the Republican Party,' which remains the only organization that has any hope of consistently countering Democratic chicanery.
And no amount of shouting, yelling, pounding the table, screaming, pouting, pontificating - and, frankly, whining - will change that fact.
*Nobody really cares about Edwards, in my opinion. It's Easley that they're interested in, and it's Easley that could cause a real scandal.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.