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Cary's Corner A Very Special Prosecutor

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 06:43am

­It looks like S.A. Peter Florrick has just given the investigation into my old firm a jolt to the system with his latest decision. He has selected a Special Prosecutor, allowing him to step back from the investigation to avoid any conflicts of interest. Naming a Special Prosecutor to head up this investigation inoculates him from easy charges of undue influence from the media and his opponents, while also ensuring that any bias he may have for or against his wife's firm does not come into play. It's critical to maintain objectivity if Justice herself is to remain blind.
Special prosecutions are associated with some of our country's most beloved scandals. The most recent special prosecution to make headlines was the Valerie Plame affair. Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed special counsel in the investigation into the leaking of Plame's identity as a CIA operative. This singularly focused investigation resulted in the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, "Scooter" Libby.
Often, however, special investigations get legs of their own and start to wander into unexpected territory. Such was the case with the Ken Starr investigation in the ‘90s. Starr was originally assigned as Special Prosecutor to look into the Whitewater real estate controversy that involved the President and First Lady at that time. This investigation broadened as it looked into the death of White House counsel Vince Foster, which included the questioning of one Linda Tripp. Nobody, not even Ken Starr, imagined that it would lead to a stain on a dress and an impeachment of the President. There's no telling what Special Prosecutors can dig up when they use the right shovel.
My boss's original intent was to pursue a Chicago drug lord currently represented by LG. The Special Prosecutor he named seems to have a different plan in mind. I understand the importance of remaining objective – but when your new Special Prosecutor happens to be the person you defeated in an election, it's a good idea to sleep with one eye open. A Special Prosecutor has a great amount of discretion, and an investigation can creep anywhere it pleases. I fear that the pursuit of a criminal kingpin represented by my old firm is now being pushed aside for something that can earn the prosecutor even more headlines – which may be exactly what this Special Prosecutor is intending...