Political Questions Surround Prosecutor's Firing

A recently fired U.S. prosecutor believes he was terminated because he didn't indict state-level Democratic politicians before the November 2006 Congressional elections.

He has said two members of Congress pressured him to hurry up a corruption probe of New Mexico politicians.

Sunday, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) admitted he was one of the callers.

He said he did ask what the time frame was on the investigation of the Democratic politicians, but said he did not pressure or threaten Dave Iglesias.

Domenici also said a few months before he had suggested Iglesias should be fired because his office was too slow in handling cases.

Iglesias was one of eight prosecutors that were fired, and Democrats in Congress complain the firings were politically motivated.

Domenici's role didn't surprise those following the controversy - the New Mexico delegation is pretty small, and several members had already said it wasn't them. But the question remains, who was the other caller?

Iglesias will testify before a Congressional committee Tuesday, and has said he will give questioners all the details.

The Justice Department denies the terminations were political. Spokesmen say all were fired for performance reasons. U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, and can be asked to resign for any reason or for no reason at all.

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