What an astonishing leap for a career “prosecutor’s prosecutor” — as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called James B. Comey back during his October 29, 2003 confirmation hearings.

Newsweek‘s Periscope reports (via Raw Story) that Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey — who famously appointed his longtime friend and U.S. Attorney colleague Patrick Fitzgerald as special prosecutor for the CIA leak case — is becoming General Counsel for Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin was named “the largest arms manufacturer in the world” by SourceWatch.org and is closely tracked by several arms control NGOs. (There’s much more about Lockheed Martin — and its need for DOJ ties — below the fold.)

While Comey’s — and his successor’s — only authority over Fitzgerald is to fire him, many of us are concerned by the resume of Timothy Flanigan, the Bush administration’s candidate for Deputy AG, and the interim DAG, Robert McCallum.

In the meantime, there are so many questions … BELOW:

Q: Who will replace Comey?

After Comey’s departure, the “acting” Deputy AG — reports Newsweek‘s Periscope — will be Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum.

McCallum, as Raw Story points out, was a Skull & Bones classmate of W’s at Yale.

As Comey’s permanent replacement, the Bush administration has nominated Timothy Flanigan — currently a corporate attorney for Tyco and a former WH associate of AG Alberto Gonzales. In my July 29 story, “Will Moves at Justice Affect CIA Leak Case?,” I go into all the problems with Flanigan’s nomination and the concerns expressed by Senate Judiciary chair Arlen Spector.

Q: Will Patrick Fitzgerald stay after his four-year stint as U.S. Attorney is up?

A reader (thanks, B!) sent me this Sun-Times story on Aug. 4, 2005:

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was a bit coy Wednesday when asked if he wants to stay on the job.

“I’m going to just do my job until somebody tells me otherwise,” he said. “I love my job. I’m very, very lucky to work with the people behind me. I have no plans to do anything else.”

U.S. attorneys traditionally serve about four years.

Fitzgerald has served four years.

But Fitzgerald is not a traditional U.S. attorney.

He is an out-of-towner who has proven he has no sacred cows, indicting former Gov. George Ryan, investigating Mayor Daley’s inner circle and bringing an investigation to the door of presidential adviser Karl Rove.

Stepping on big toes like that has led to speculation he’ll be shown the door, but others say the bad press the Bush administration would get from moving him out would not be worth it. …

Now, investigative reporter Murray Waas believes Ftizgerald will stay, as I noted in my Aug. 4 story, “CIA Leak’s Fitzgerald Will Stay ‘Long While’.”

But, Meteor Blades posted this comment in that story:

So maybe they’ll find a … (4.00 / 3)

…corporation that will hire Fitzgerald for big bucks and get him out of their hair. Firing people isn’t the only way to remove them.

Is Comey’s move to Lockheed Martin logical?

First, look at Comey’s biography at the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Comey spent a very brief stint — perhaps a year? — at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York law offices, Comey has been a government employee. Then, as Sen. Schumer mentioned it in his October 29, 2003 confirmation hearing statemen, “[f]rom 1993 to 1996, Mr. Comey was an associate and later a partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia” where he practiced criminal defense and commercial litigation.

Comey graduated from the University of Chicago law school in 1985. After clerking for a federal judge and the stint at Gibson, Dunn — one of the nation’s premiere law firms — he joined the “U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he worked from 1987 to 1993.” Since 1987, Comey has worked for U.S .Attorney offices and for the U.S. Dept. of Justice with the exception of the three years in Richmond, Va. mostly as a criminal defense attorney.

He has almost no experience in corporate practice. So why, when there are countless brilliant and experienced corporate attorneys around the country, would Lockheed Martin select a candidate with only prosecutorial experience?

It’s probably all about “who you know.” And Lockheed Martin’s legal offices no doubt have dozens of legal hacks to do the day-to-day work.

Q: Why might Lockheed Martin want a general counsel with close DOJ ties?

SourceWatch.org offers this background on the company:

Lockheed Martin is the largest arms manufacturer in the world [1], with an order book worth £70bn and a dominance in the fighter aircraft sector. $23.3bn in military sales, including fighter and transport aircraft, missiles and space systems, comprise 88% of company turnover.


Nearly 80% of Lockheed Martin’s customer base is with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. federal government agencies. “In fact, Lockheed Martin is the largest provider of IT services, systems integration, and training to the U.S. Government. The remaining portion of Lockheed Martin’s business is comprised of international government and some commercial sales of products, services and platforms.”

Among the news articles listed at SourceWatch are these:

  1. The company that runs the empire” by Jeffrey St. Clair in CounterPunch January 22, 2005, reports, “Lockheed rakes it in from the federal treasury at the rate of $65 million every single day of the year.”
  2. 27 August 2003 WASHINGTON (AFP) “Lockheed Martin will pay the US government 37.9 million dollars to settle accusations that it inflated the cost of contracts for the US air force, the justice department said.”
  3. B. Rivers, “US Firm Under Investigation Over ROC Rep Payments“, Journal of Electronic Defense, November 1, 1999:

    Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company (Nashua, NH), is reportedly under investigation by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, CA, to determine if the company made improper payments to a consultant based in the Republic or China (ROC, or Taiwan) in order to win a 1990 contract for the provision of area-defense radar systems to that country. Prosecutors are examining dealings between Sanders and Richard Hei, a consultant with ties to ROC military and government officials.”

Res ipsa loquitur.


Questions. So many questions.

What kind of indirect pressure might interim Deputy AG McCallum put on Fitzgerald?

Will, as many BooTrib members worry, the Congress get involved and besmirch Fitzgerald’s investigation in some way?

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