The Justice Department's push to remove U.S. attorneys in 2006 might have been larger than the eight cases that have been discussed in Congress. Other U.S. attorneys' names were on a list the agency compiled in January 2006 — the prosecutor who replaced one of them was the first to be named under the Patriot Act.
One of the federal prosecutors on the list was U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri Todd Graves. Graves resigned last year, before the forced dismissals took place. He left several months after refusing to sign off on a voter-registration lawsuit that was filed against the state of Missouri by an acting assistant attorney general, Bradley Schlozman.
Less than two weeks later, Schlozman was installed to replace Graves under a Patriot Act provision allowing President Bush to place Schlozman in the job without Senate confirmation.
Schlozman went on to bring voter-fraud charges against members of the liberal group ACORN, less than a week before the hotly contested Missouri Senate election.
In the ACORN case, workers there had been accused of submitting blatantly false registration forms. But by the time of Schlozman's filing, ACORN had fired the workers weeks earlier and turned them over to law enforcement officials.
Schlozman has now returned to Justice Department headquarters in Washington. He left Kansas City last month, just a couple of days before a federal judge threw out the lawsuit he brought against the state of Missouri.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says she'd like to hear more from Schlozman.
"What this all indicates," McCaskill says, "is that more questions need to be asked, and more answers under oath need to be given."