‘Memogate’ investigation under way


    By Jonathan Bacon

    The Department of Justice appointed a new U.S. attorney in New York City Monday to investigate allegations that Democrat memos were gained illegally by two former aides of Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

    Democrat David Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, will investigate Hatch”s aides for federal violations in regards to certain Democrat memos in a case referred to in Washington as “Memogate.”

    Earlier this year Senate Sergeant at Arms William Pickle concluded that over 4,500 Democrats” documents were found on computers of former Hatch aides.

    A spokesperson for Pickle said the probe was a result of the memos that showed up in the Wall Street Journal last November. She said Pickle”s office was asked by Hatch to investigate the matter as a separate internal committee more than a month ago.

    Adam Elggren, spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orin Hatch, said the probe conducted earlier this year by Pickle”s office was a result of the “investigation and interviews conducted by a sophisticated man power,” from within Hatch”s office.

    According to a story in the Deseret Morning News, one of the Hatch”s aides, Manuel Miranda, claims he did not break any laws.

    Miranda and the other aide under investigation, Jason Lundell, resigned last year following a probe conducted within Hatch”s office.

    Several Democrats think Miranda and Lundell”s actions violated federal laws because unauthorized networks were used to access the documents.

    In an official statement posted on Sen. Patrick Leahy?s Web site, D-Vt., he said, “This is a serious matter that deserves and requires careful investigation. The Senate Sergeant at Arms made a good start with his investigation and report. With the powers available to a federal prosecutor, this matter can now be more thoroughly investigated, so that those who engaged in criminal conduct may be brought to justice.”

    However, several conservatives were angered because no probes into the apparent collusion of several Democrats have been investigated. Ethics complaints have also been filed against two Democrats cited in the memos.

    According to Elggren, Hatch has not pushed for further investigation into the apparent wrongdoings of the Democrats involved; partly due to the circumstances surrounding how the documents came to light.

    “This is pretty much the opinion of several other Republican Senators as no one wants their private memos to be discussed and made available in such a way,” Elggren said.

    The documents leaked included information outlining possible collusion efforts by Democrats and liberal activists to block judicial nominees of President George W. Bush.

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