Another chapter: Your tax dollars at work
Dems: More lawyers needed for Bush probes
House Democrats are set tomorrow to bring in private sector lawyers -- at a cost of up to $225,000 over the next nine months -- to help committee staff investigate the Bush administration.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, has drawn up a contract with Washington law firm Arnold & Porter for help in his investigation of the firing of eight federal prosecutors last year, according to an unsigned copy of the contract obtained by The Washington Times.
The contract specifies that Arnold & Porter will subcontract with another firm, Deloitte & Touche, to "assist Democratic members of the Committee on the Judiciary with issues related to the termination of U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration, possible misrepresentations to Congress, interfering with investigations and matter related thereto."
The House Judiciary Committee already has as many as 30 paid staff positions, not including staff of subcommittees, aides said.
The committee's contract is for a sum "not to exceed $25,000 per month, plus authorized traveling expenses," and is set to expire Dec. 31, 2007.
The contract specifies that Irvin B. Nathan, a partner at Arnold & Porter, will be "principally responsible" for the contract.
The contract also specifies that two Deloitte & Touche employees -- Michael Zeldin, a former independent special prosecutor in the early 1990s, and David K. Gilles, a former Treasury Department official -- will become part of the House investigation.
Republicans denounced the move as "scandal-mongering."
"It doesn't take a quarter-million dollars and an army of lawyers to conclude that U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, unless you're a Democrat with a political dog-and-pony show to produce," said Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.
"If the goal is to distract from the fact that Democrats have no long-term agenda, they're going to need an outside PR firm, not lawyers," Mr. Kennedy said.
Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, Illinois Democrat, defended Mr. Conyers' decision.
"He has said to the White House, 'We want the truth. Help us,'" said Mr. Emmanuel, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus. "Our goal here is to get to the truth, and every day is a new day when it comes to the White House and their story."
Read the rest at the source.