George Bush has offered the federal prosecutor in charge of the Abramoff inquiry a federal judgeship appointment. According to the Times of London, "Noel Hillman, in charge of unravelling the burgeoning bribery scandal on Capitol Hill that could ensnare dozens of Republican congressmen and their staff, will step down next week after accepting the offer of a judgeship in New Jersey."
Reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre, when Richard Nixon fired Watergate independent prosecutor Archibald Cox, and then forced the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, the Bush White House has brazenly stalled and delayed the ongoing investigation by this act.
This White House and the GOP is so fearful of the results of such an investigation and the negative impact it will have on incumbent Republicans and the 2006 Congressional elections, it will do whatever it can to interrupt the process as much as possible between now and November of this year. All the protestations by the White House to the contrary cannot obscure the fact that this action delays the investigation which will proceed, leaderless, for an indeterminate amount of time.
This is the first shot in the Bush administration's war against this investigation.