“Can Congress Get a Clue? (Karen Tandy and the DEA)”
Late Thursday night, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Karen P. Tandy as the new head of the DEA, following former administrator Asa Hutchinson’s move to Homeland Security.
The Washington Post reported the confirmation, without mentioning some of the more disturbing facts of her past, or the lack of critical knowledge she exhibited in her confirmation hearing.
Jason Vest’s excellent article in The Nation – A New Hard-Liner at the DEA details some of the issues which should have received close scrutiny by the White House, the Senate, or at least by the Senate Judiciary Committee, including the fact that her assignments as a Justice Department prosecutor and administrator involved:
- busting mail order bong sellers
- busting medical marijuana operations in California and Oregon
Additionally, Karen Tandy:
- was “disqualified and prohibited from directly or indirectly participating” in an investigation by Judge Albert Bryan Jr. because she read documents the court had ruled were protected by attorney-client privilege
- in one case waited until only three days before trial before giving defense attorneys over 60,000 pages of critical documents, all unindexed
- supposedly threatened to withhold family visits unless a defendant said what she wanted him to say
- seized the property of a defendant’s family member even though there was no evidence he was involved
- changed the wording of a plea agreement without the knowledge of the defendant, defense attorney, or judge, in order to set up the defendant for a subsequent arrest
- failed to turn over exculpatory evidence in a cocaine trial
- seized the business and property of a man despite a lack of evidence – a judge was so upset by the lack of evidence that he dismissed the charges “with prejudice”