Kit Bond seems to have a penchant for playing the bullyboy. In December I wrote about journalist Laura Rozen’s description of a tantrum Bond threw in order to intimidate James Marcinkowski, a witness who appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to testify about Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA status.
Now a column by Barb Shelly of the Kansas City Star leads one to believe that intimidation and vengeful behavior is part of his regular repertoire. The U.S. Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report, issued today (9/29), implicates him in the DOJ firing scandal, specifically in regard to the firing of Todd Graves, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Shelly concludes that:
Though circumstances remain a bit muddled, the inspector concludes that Bond’s legal counsel called a White House lawyer several times in 2005 seeking to have Graves removed as this area’s top federal prosecutor.
It seems that Todd Graves wasn’t willing to snap to and use his influence with his brother, U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, to get him to fire Jeff Roe, who was then Sam Graves’ Chief of Staff.
Although discussions of the efforts to fire Todd Graves have involved allegations about a no-bid contract to run a motor vehicle fee office which was awarded to his wife, Shelly notes that according to the IG report:
The inspector concludes that the feud between the Bond and Sam Graves offices, not the fee office contract, was the fuse that resulted in Todd Graves’s removal.
Bond’s involvement in Graves’ firing is not in itself news. Compare Shelly’s account of the IG report to this earlier summary of Graves’ firing from TalkingPointsMemo’s Josh Marshall who implicates Bond. What the IG report adds is the true motive for the firing, Bond’s vendetta against Graves.
It appears to be indisputable that Bond was directly involved in firing Graves who was, incidentally, replaced by the reprehensible Bradley Schlozman. And no matter how you cut it, it does seem inescapable that Bond thinks that using his influence as a congressman to settle scores in this way is just one more perk of office.