Two Years to Indict Tan Nguyen

Remember Tan Nguyen? He’s the asshole who, in his race against Loretta Sanchez in 2006, sent out fliers in Spanish to recently registered voters warning that immigrants could be imprisoned if they voted.

He was indicted on October 1 on one charge of obstruction. Two years after he tried to scare Latinos out of voting.

Now, I’m thrilled he’s been indicted. I’d love for his indictment to get a whole lot more press to dissuade the Republicans who are trying similar tactics again.

But does it seem odd to any of you that it took two years to put together a two page indictment that basically alleges he lied about his involvement in putting together the flier? For a case that, prosecutors estimate, will take just one day to try? Hell, it took Patrick Fitzgerald, working part time, less time to indict Scooter Libby for obstruction, in a much more complex case, even accounting for Judy Miller’s 11 months of stalling on testifying. And, predictably, Nguyen’s lawyer points to the length of "the investigation" to cast doubt on the charges. 

I can’t help but wonder whether this case wasn’t seriously considered until a number of people–Debra Wong Yang and her replacement at US Attorney, George Cardona and Brad Schlozman–were ousted. Perhaps, too, it took Glenn Fine’s ongoing investigation into problems at the Civil Rights Division to kick this into action. The non-indictment (up till now) of Nguyen always seemed to me to be the flip side of the firing of the US Attorneys. So I’d like to know why this took so long.

  1. bmaz says:

    Nuh uh, there was another cluck there over half that time, Thomas O’Brien. And, after Yang left, there was a guy, Mike Emmick, a real asswipe, and lifelong symbiant acolyte of Ken Starr, that was running that portion of the office. To put it mildly, his greatest feat while overseeing white collar and public corruption for CDLA was the fact that absolutely nothing whatsoever was done on anything. Other than busting a few democratic lawyers. So, don’t forget Emmdick.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      lifelong symbiant acolyte of Ken Starr

      That is the best insult I’ve read in some time. Well played, sir, well played. I mean that very sincerely.

  2. rosalind says:

    (obama up live on msnbc at some dinner in ny that mccain just spoke at. dinner features funny speeches. john mccain was really funny. not a typo. a glimpse of the “old” mccain. he even ended with a gracious, moving tribute to obama. again, not a typo. i feel like i’ve entered bizarro-world)

  3. JohnLopresti says:

    Discovery in the case will be interesting. As I recall, there was some slow walking of initial investigations, so the sense was that some partisan politics figured in the mix of suppressed fact finding. Further, I read a little about it, epluribus was pretty thorough on it. Other elections watchers created the impression, for me, that the candidate was respected to some degree in both parties; in fact, when the heat cooled concerning the inflammatory posters and mailers, the candidate was in the press sounding enthusiastic about the next election cycle, saying he would campaign as a Democrat maybe, as he had been a Democratic party member before running as a Republican. Additionally, I think people hoped he would be thorough, if elected, after keeping his name in voters’ minds over a long time, even as runner up. My take was there was some benign neglect at the state and academic level, letting the candidate weather the storm of dirty campaigning, to see whether he could set matters aright, or whether some future discovery process would reveal only another defective candidate willing to cast a somber effect in some neighborhoods, kind of a melting pot tolerant approach, measured, awaiting some test of time. I may have more information later. One of the state dynamics is the republican script reading governor named to lead the statewide prosecution branch of the elections oversight office one of the most atavistically conservative former lawmakers in the southland of the state. Even given this mix, the newly elected secretary of state, a Democratic party member, has been a gift of vigilance and thoroughness, offsetting the effects of the governor’s appointment of her underling. It is nice to see the case rejuvenated, however. I may find time to read into it again, soon.

    • Synoia says:

      “the candidate was in the press sounding enthusiastic about the next election cycle, saying he would campaign as a Democrat maybe, as he had been a Democratic party member before running as a Republican”

      Bullshit. The Vienamese in Tan Nguyen’s are republican. There are two major groups of them, both republicans.

      Roraabacer (R +375) is the other congress member here.

      • JohnLopresti says:

        Right, I thought the zone was difficult, at best, and the then-former candidate’s pronouncements puzzling. I am away from my archive of documents, mostly, but the oversight by RJ, is challenged in editorial comment widely, though some prosecutions have been vigorous intrastate. ew’s USAtty version is an interesting new perspective of scrutiny. As I recall, Joe Rich’s former outfit still resembles what one might expect a Mukasey overseen office to look like.

      • opiejeanne1 says:

        Yes, that’s what I remember, and wasn’t a woman also named Nguyen run against him in the primary? At the election, his sister was arrested for electioneering at the polls. My husband saw it when he went to vote.

        I’m surprised this didn’t come up much earlier, considering all the stuff they had on this guy.

        Also, I don’t remember either side talking nice about him at the time; my impression was that no one wanted him.

        • Synoia says:

          About 60% of the Vietnamese are named Nguyen or Tran. They have very few family names. The are Nguyen ladys on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and Garden Grove City Council, and probably a few on the local school districts.

          Not realted. The paucity f family names has some interesting affects on credit reports. That’s a different story.

          • opiejeanne1 says:

            I know about Vietnamese last names, and I knew they weren’t related. I seem to remember voting for her in the primary because she actually had some ideas. He put up posters all over our area that said “Go With Tan” and “Win With Tan”. Sounded like something from high school.

  4. Knut says:

    OT, but I hope not too much. My wife and I were at my nephew’s wedding in Sausalito two weeks ago. I learned tonight that the priest told her that he (and other priests in his denomination) had received letters from the Government (didn’t say which branch) asking them how they would respond to martial law being declared in the United States in the event of a ‘terrorist attack.’ The conversation came up in the context of the possibility of moving to Canada in the event of a McCain electoral victory.

    Did any of this see the light of day? It’s the first time I heard of it, and this is a sure source. The guy is a priest.

  5. Synoia says:

    The justice system is like the mills of god, where I belive the quote is:

    “The mills of God grind slow. But they grind exceeding small.

  6. JohnLopresti says:

    Epluribus has a link to a now redacted exemplar of the mailing, there. That site has an English version which I have not read in a while; the Spanish does more than discover a little chalk on the cleats. Time for instant replay. The epluribus 2006 coverage is still posted. There is a fairly strong community organization based out of state which wrote nicely about the incident at the end of an article about AZ, there.

  7. radiofreewill says:

    OT Alaska Lege votes unanimously to send Branchflower Report, including the Confidential Section, to Tim Petumenos, the investigator hired by the Personnel Review Board to look into Gov. Sarah Palin’s Ethics complaint against herself in the Troopergate Investigation.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        In case you missed the exit polling….

        Red Sox confidence meter

        Admit it … did you go to bed when the Red Sox were down 7-0 in Game 5?

        Yes … and I’m ashamed. I missed the greatest rally in Red Sox history.
        No … I never gave up!
        Total votes: 2178

        After the Red Sox staged an historic rally to win Game 5 at Fenway Park on Thursday, do you think they’ll go on to take the next two games and win the ALCS?

        YES! I believe, I believe, I believe!
        No. As good as the Game 5 win was, the Sox still have an uphill battle ahead and I think they’ll fall short.
        Total votes: 1811