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About those fired US attorneys

Paul at Power Line has a post about how the firing of the eight US attorneys is not the scandal that the media is portraying it:

The alleged scandal over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys has made it to the front page of the Washington Post as today's top headline. Let's take a look at the Post's story and the "scandal."


The Post breathlessly informs us that the "Firings Had Genesis in White House." Reading on, we learn that President Bush told Attorney General Gonzales he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud invesitgations. Voter fraud is a serious offense, and both political parties say they oppose it. So it seems perfectly proper for the president to pass along a complaint that some prosecutors weren't pursuing such investigations. The question would then become how Gonzales followed-up and whether he did so fairly. More on this in a moment.

The Post also says that Harriet Miers recommended that all U.S. Attorneys be fired. Gonzales wisely rejected this blunderbuss recommendation. It's worth noting, though, that such a mass firing would not have been unprecedented. President Clinton, through Janet Reno, fired all of the U.S. Attorneys after he was elected. Clinton used the mass firing as a means of covering up his real intention -- to fire the U.S. Attorney in his home state of Arkansas. They didn't call Clinton "Slick Willie" for nothing.

This time, eight prosecutors lost their jobs. It's not implausible to think that out 93 U.S. Attorneys, eight might be good candidates for replacement. But let's take a quick look at some of the specifics. According to the Post, three of them had low ratings -- Margaret Chiara in Michigan, Carol Lam in San Diego, and Bud Cummins in Little Rock. Cummins was replaced by Tim Griffin, whose career Karl Rove apparently wanted to advance. There's nothing novel in appointing a rising star with good connections to the job of U.S. Attorney. I've seen no evidence that Griffin was unqualified and, as noted, Cummins had received a poor rating.

Jeralyn Merrit, a criminal attorney and liberal blogger, explains how US Attorneys are appointed:

With all the cries of "foul" over the U.S. attorney firings, I think it might be helpful for readers to know just how U.S. attorneys are selected.


The job has always been a political plum. The U.S. Attorney is nominated by the President, based on recommendations from the Senators in the particular District. Almost without exception, the appointee is from the President's political party. When a new President is elected, we get new U.S. Attorneys.

The Assistant U.S. Attorneys get to stay, under civil service rules. They can't be ousted because of political reasons.

The travesty of the current U.S. Attorney firing scandal is not that U.S. Attorneys are being replaced. That is expected after an election, such as the one in 2004. It's that it's happening in 2007.

So what if these attorneys are fired in 2007 as opposed to in 2004? Since, as she points out, these positions are political in nature and the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, the date they are replaced should not be an issue - except when the Attorney General ousting them is in the Bush Administration.


Comments (73)

One thing I have always hat... (Below threshold)
Herman:

One thing I have always hated about these Bush Administration scandals, is that before one is completely resolved, a new one comes along to divert attention away from attaining a resolution.

Kim asserts that three of the eight attorneys fired had performed poorly at their jobs by someone's criteria. Even if this is true, what about the other five, Kim??? Well??? If they weren't fired for poor job performance, is it unreasonable to assume that they were fired for political reasons? But didn't the Busheviks claim that no attorney was fired for political reasons?

But this isn't really the most crucial aspect of the scandal. We know that Kyle Sampson has resigned for his role in the scandal, a fact Kim conveniently omits. It goes beyond that. From Citizens for Ethics ( http://www.citizensforethics.org/press/newsrelease.php?view=211 ):

"In the past few months, Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have testified before Congress that the U.S. Attorneys were asked to resign for performance related reasons, that the White House was minimally involved in the firings and that the Department was in no way attempting to evade the confirmation process for new U.S. Attorneys."

"Documents provided by the DOJ to Congress suggest that at least one high-ranking official, D. Kyle Sampson, knew that the statements made to Congress were untrue. If, as it appears, a Department of Justice official allowed other officials to provide inaccurate information to Congress, federal crimes may have been committed. Because DOJ obviously cannot investigate and prosecute the misconduct of its own officials, CREW has called on the attorney general to appoint a Special Prosecutor to handle this matter."

These people serve at the p... (Below threshold)

These people serve at the pleasure of the President. They were hired due to politics, and they can be fired due to politics. They just can't be fired for an illegal reason. No one would argue that they could be fired on the basis of their race or gender. TRhe allegation floating around is that they were fired as a means of interfering with their "prosecutorial discretion."

This term can have varying meaning, and depending on the meaning, the firing could either be perfectly defensible or utterly indefensible.

Refusal of a U.S. Attorney to follow the (legitimate) policy direction of the Attorney General, for instance (i.e., "we place a high priority on public corruption, go after it"), no matter how competent the USA, would be grounds for removal.

On the other hand, "I don't care how guilty that man is, he's a big contributor and I want you to drop your investigation" would be a pretty outrageous order, and refusal to obey that would be utterly defensible.

I've not read sufficient facts in any of these cases to suggest that any of them have been fired for illigitimate reasons -- I'd be eager to review any links to demonstrate otherwise.
time.

these positions are poli... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

these positions are political in nature and the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president Yes, but they expected to serve the people not strictly the President. Attorney-General Gonzalez said before the Judiciary Committee that he" would never, ever make a change in the United States attorney position for political reasons...And now we have a stream of e-mails from officials at the White House to the Attorney-General's office, that talk of little else, and very little if anything, about performance.

Yet another case of the Rep... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Yet another case of the Republican coverup being worse than the incident. wavemaker is right that the attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. But rather than state that, Justice instead lied to Congress.

Cue the "perjury and lying are OK" crowd! With some spin like the DOJ was only "lying about the truth" or some nonsense.

I've not read sufficient... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I've not read sufficient facts in any of these cases to suggest that any of them have been fired for illigitimate reasons -- I'd be eager to review any links to demonstrate otherwise.

Your wish is my command (and the command of every major news organization for the past week, if one cared to look):

Justice officials have acknowledged that they did not fire Bud Cummins from his Little Rock post for cause but have said the others were ousted for "performance-related" reasons. Records show, however, that at least six of the prosecutors, including Iglesias and Cummins, received mostly positive job evaluations before they were forced out.
Although the Bush administration has said that six U.S. attorneys were fired recently in part because of "performance related" issues, at least five of them received positive job evaluations before they were ordered to step down.
ohhhssss noooooossss anothe... (Below threshold)
eman:

ohhhssss noooooossss another scandal in the White House. Y'all are familiar with the boy that cried wolf right? Thanks for playing, here's a cookie. Good Lord God almighty, so transparent even a lefty at talk left could see. Snicker Snort Snort.

<a href="http://news.yahoo.... (Below threshold)
Brian:
Attorney General Janet Reno... (Below threshold)
Brian D:

Attorney General Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys, under Bill Clinton. Where was the scandal then?

It should be an easy matter... (Below threshold)
Lee:

It should be an easy matter to figure out the political reasons behind why these seven attorneys were singled out - and the good performance evaluations blows holes in the argument that the firings weren't politically motivated.

They would have been better off firing all of them. At least then they can't be charged with selectively ousting a few for political reasons.

Is there ANYTHING that Republicans can do right the first time??? Good grief, their incompetence is sickening....

Ahem, thank you, Brian, for... (Below threshold)

Ahem, thank you, Brian, for the links -- the snark was not necessary.

Because a USA has positive job ratings does not mean his firing was illigitimate.

There is, however, this suggestion in the Post article:

"The charges by Iglesias added a new dimension to the ongoing controversy over the fired prosecutors, at least four of whom were presiding over major public-corruption probes. Although other fired prosecutors have publicly defended their records, they have never alleged that political pressure related to an ongoing criminal investigation played a role in their dismissals."

Sorry but that's an equivocal allegation floating out there, no facts yet -- I wonder how many of the 93 USA's don't have a major public corruption case (or at least one that the press could call such)alive in their offices at any given time.

But there is this:

Iglesias said the two lawmakers called him about a well-known criminal investigation involving a Democratic legislator....the lawmakers who called him seemed focused on whether charges would be filed before the November elections. He said the calls made him feel "pressured to hurry the subsequent cases and prosecutions" but said he did not receive similar contacts from anyone in the executive branch. He acknowledged he made a mistake by not reporting the calls to the Justice Department.

Now that would appear to provide some smoke, both the principal allegation and the failure to report the calls to DoJ.

The tortured logic is astou... (Below threshold)

The tortured logic is astounding.

Perhaps firing them all would have suggested that they had something to hide -- in addition to being unfair to the ones they wanted to keep.

Man the cyncism is blinding you.

Hey, my chief of staff just... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Hey, my chief of staff just resigned, and I just admitted to mistakes, but we didn't do anything wrong.

The party that promised to ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

The party that promised to bring honor and dignity back to the White House, sure likes to use Clinton to justify their actions.

"Perhaps firing them all... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Perhaps firing them all would have suggested that they had something to hide -- in addition to being unfair to the ones they wanted to keep."

Its been established (for those who can read) that firing them all at the beginning of the term is standard operating procedure.

Firing them two years ago (which is when these seven were fired) would not have raised the specter of political motivations behind the selective firing of seven.

Now we get to parse and dissect the motives behind each individual firing.

What is it about these seven that got them fired?

What cases were they working on?

Which lobbyist-licking Republican congressman did they piss off?

Why was the President involved?

What evidence was turned up in the voter fraud investigations that might need to be suppressed by the White House?

Like I said - there no end to Republican incompetence. Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves. The flushing of the D.C. toilet continues, watch the Republicans spin and go down the drain.

<a href="http://www.tpmmuck... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002420.php

A study of reported federal investigations of elected officials and candidates shows that the Bush administration's Justice Department pursues Democrats far more than Republicans. 79 percent of elected officials and candidates who've faced a federal investigation (a total of 379) between 2001 and 2006 were Democrats, the study found - only 18 percent were Republicans. During that period, Democrats made up 50 percent of elected officeholders and office seekers during the time period, and 41 percent were Republicans during that period, according to the study.

"The chance of such a heavy Democratic-Republican imbalance occurring at random is 1 in 10,000," according to the study's authors.

Who said Bush is playing politics with the justice department?

Barney Barney Barney, A sta... (Below threshold)
eman:

Barney Barney Barney, A staffer. Snicker Snort Snort. From where I come from That's called Bait Fish. Thanks for playing, Would you like milk with those cookis.

So Hillary resurrected her ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

So Hillary resurrected her "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" (TM) bullshit today complaining about voter fraud, and the leftists ran with it.

In the same breath they complain about the President canning attorneys for not investigating....wait for it.....voter fraud.

All because he had the temerity to wait a few years before making routine political appointments...as far as I can figure.

There's two explanations fo... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

There's two explanations for that Barney. One being that the prosecutions are statistically fair and the percentage is a reflection of the population.

Actually, a third possibility is that Republicans aren't stupid enough to store cash in the refrigerators. But then that would be a reflection on the intelligence of crooked Democrats vs. crooked Republicans.

"as far as I can figure.... (Below threshold)
Lee the Pirate:

"as far as I can figure."

Lee the Pirate sez - Arrrrggh, there's the rub, matey. It's your figuring that's the problem...

I keep reading snippets about Gonzalez lying under oath - something in his confirmation hearing about Senate approval over the new appointments? This after the administration snuck a provision into the Patriot Act that let them appoint without Senate approval - which was their plan all along?

Oh what a tangled web you weave -- you lying sacks of elephant dung.

And I don't remember seeing any stories on Wizbang about the FBI admission this last weekend concerning Patriot Act privacy abuses...

but lots of right-wing chatter about Pelosi and the "scattered boos" she received instead - lol!

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic... And we have generals who are idolized because they are more interested in gay-bashing then they are in winning the damn war.

Flush it!

Slick Willie fired them all... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Slick Willie fired them all. That was ok. The Bush administration fires those that aren't worth their paycheck and the sh** hits the fan.

All I can see is a bunch of dhimmi's still in diapers screaming mommy they're mean to me. Without a doubt the crop of democrats in congress are the worst think that has or will ever happen to America. The country will be lucky to survive their stupidity for two years, much less any longer than that. At least the stock market is paying attention. Keep it up dhimmi's and the stongest market in the world in Nov 06 will become the weakest market in the world before the end of 07. When people lose confidence in the government, (and I do not know one person that will honestly say they trust the current crop of dhimmi's) they lose confidence in everything and there will be hell to pay. They were bought and paid for by the enemies of a free country and you elected them so it's fun to watch the comedy of errors as they destroy the country.

So.. firing 6 is bad.. but ... (Below threshold)
Ran:

So.. firing 6 is bad.. but "93" is good?.. Jesus, your logic is amazing! And, if by chance, you are saying there's another cover up, for God's sake!.. Tell us what it is! Talk about paranoid!.. Scandal "this" you idiots!.. Bush had a shoelace untied, will you "LIBS" look into that for me!.. I think he's covering something up!

A study of reported fede... (Below threshold)
cirby:

A study of reported federal investigations of elected officials and candidates shows that the Bush administration's Justice Department pursues Democrats far more than Republicans.

...and a close look at the prosecutions (the link is available on the site) shows that the big problem is that Democrats tend to get caught in larger groups. Nineteen Democrats in one case, for example. So the issue isn't so much prosecutors going after Democrats, but Democrats ratting each other out more readily, or Democrats having more of a tendency to get involved in conspiracies that end up getting busted.

I tend to think it's the latter - Democrats seem to have no capability at all of keeping secrets, even secrets that would put them in jail if anyone knew about them.

There's also more of a tendency for local officials in larger cities (like New York or Baltimore) to have Democratic affiliation. Since more crime (and more Federal prosecutors) are also found in large cities, that mean it's much more likely to end up with prosecutable corruption...

Gee Lee leeee.. I'm sure Wh... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Gee Lee leeee.. I'm sure Whizbang is sooooo sorry for missing that "IMPORTANT" stuff.. but I'm sure you read about it on Kossssssss..Oh..does the "Party of compassion" allow repubs over there?..LOL..

Cirby: get ready for all th... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Cirby: get ready for all the "Repubs are much worse!" bullshit.

...except the evidence seem... (Below threshold)
cirby:

...except the evidence seems to point the other way.

One other really suspicious thing about the study is that it cuts off right as Bush took office - so we can't tell if prosecutions of Democrats picked up before or after 2001. You'd think that they would have looked back a few years, to show how much change there had been - unless there wasn't any.

A more direct source for the original article:
http://www.epluribusmedia.org/columns/2007/20070212_political_profiling.html

Take a long look at Appendix A.

It also (I just turned up a... (Below threshold)
cirby:

It also (I just turned up another link) that the authors of the study didn't actually list all of the Republicans who were investigated or prosecuted, and made a bunch of other errors (or dishonest omissions).

http://stubbornfacts.us/

...has the story.

"'Political Profiling' study is fatally flawed"

Lefties, et al; what part o... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Lefties, et al; what part of "U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President" is it you do not comprehend? I know it is a difficult concept, unless that President is a Democrat, then you have no problem understanding it. You are nothing but a bunch of subversives whos candidate lost the last Presidential election and you cannot get over it. You do not care about the nation, all you care about is demeaning this man and his Presidency. During Lincolns time, you would have been imprisonsed and rightfully so. I think you should all be hung.

To all you Bush Toadies out... (Below threshold)
Herman:

To all you Bush Toadies out there:

While the firings midway through Bush's final term for political reasons is in itself tragic, it is, arguably, not the primary concern in this latest political scandal. I know this might be quite hard for you toadies to understand, but generally speaking, PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE TO BE LIED TO. Yes, you've proven repeatedly over the past several years that you don't give a damn about Bush Administration dishonesty, but other people are not like you. A Democratic Congress in particular doesn't like it when the executive branch lies. So members of Congress (at least the Democratic ones) can't be pleased by this [expletive deleted] pointed out above by Steve Crickmore:

"Attorney-General Gonzalez said before the Judiciary Committee that he" would never, ever make a change in the United States attorney position for political reasons"

Posted by: Lee the Pira... (Below threshold)
marc:

Posted by: Lee the Pirate at March 13, 2007 08:16 PM

Hey look... it's another pseudo-wizbang editor-at-large whining about what is or isn't written here.

Lift your pseudo-eye patch, post something ON TOPIC then go start your own blog.

To all you Bush Toadies... (Below threshold)
marc:

To all you Bush Toadies out there: While the firings midway through Bush's final term for political reasons is in itself tragic,

Yes it is terribly "tragic," to first leave a job you're asked to leave and then resume your life in a private law practice that pays far, far more than your previous gov position. Oh... the HUMANITY!

Cry me a river!

A staffer. Snicker Snort... (Below threshold)
Brian:

A staffer. Snicker Snort Snort.

Gonzales's Chief of Staff. Snicker Snort Snort. Where I come from, that's called "big" fish. Thanks for playing. Would you like earplugs with that blindfold?

I'm not arguing that the Pr... (Below threshold)
Allen:

I'm not arguing that the President has the right to fire them. But why did the present administration have to have a midnight policy slipped into the Patriot Act so Congress doesn't approve the new ones?

Something smells real rotten with that. But what is going to happen when a Demo (maybe 08) becomes President and does the same thing that this President is doing? Will there be a big stink raised then, or will Clinton still be blamed.

Why can't you idiots get over Clinton. He has been out of office since 2000. Christ, give it a rest. Start thinking if your able to.

So.. firing 6 is bad.. b... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So.. firing 6 is bad.. but "93" is good?.. Jesus, your logic is amazing!

Well, yeah, if the firing 93 is untargeted SOP, then sure.

And, if by chance, you are saying there's another cover up, for God's sake!.. Tell us what it is!

Umm, that would be politically targeting attorneys after publicly stating that you would never politically target attorneys, and then lying to Congress about it. You know, the thing he apologized for and his Chief of Staff resigned over? Yeah, that's the one.

I think your meds are interfering with your reading abilities.

It is funny watching libs t... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

It is funny watching libs trying to create a scandal where none exists.

They are fired whenever the President wants to fire them. Simple as that. Congress has, precisely, NO right to even ask why it was done.
-=Mike

TY Mike.. But I fear the Tr... (Below threshold)
Ran:

TY Mike.. But I fear the Trolls will NOT understand that one. Just makes too much sense. Can't blame Bush if your agreed to.... Herman..What are your standards for lying.. are they the same for BOTH parties?

I've been a little confused... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

I've been a little confused as this why this is a scandal. Even if something is traditional or common, the breaking of tradition is not considered illegal. Until several years ago Judicial nominees were traditionally not filibustered but the Dems shattered that tradition with no protest form the Left.

My understanding is that President's usually replace all AG at the beginning of thier terms. I believe the AG's usually serve four year terms but may serve indefinitely if not replaced. They nonetheless can be replaced at any time by the President.

Re-elected Presidents may choose to replacve all AG's, as Miers suggested, or repalce some, as was eventually done. It appears that the Administration took two years mulling over who should be replaced. If they had been replaced in Jan 05, no one would raise any complaints so it seems odd that this is such an issus two years later.

I suspect the reason for the resignation is that the Adminsitration does not want to needlessly anger the Senate, especially with so many GOP Senators disgrunted with the President. The Adminsitration has more important battles to fight and desperately needs allies in the Senate.

As to complaints of perjury, to paraphrase the big Bill: That depends on what the meaning of "political considerations" is. If an AG is not pursuing Adminstration priorites, is that politcal or not?

It is not a scandal...the w... (Below threshold)
Michael:

It is not a scandal...the whole thing is silly. Bush can fire 6,8 all
of them if he wants to. The little trolls like Lee can't accept the fact that Bush is President and can do things they do not like....well
tough shit...win a election for a change(and three since '68 is not a good track record).

That's right Michael, he ca... (Below threshold)
Allen:

That's right Michael, he can fire all of them. So why are people bring up Clinton when he fired them all. There is more at play here than simple firing USA's. But the left wingers are going ape shit, and the right wingers are saying no big deal.

Simple truth, there is more to this than people realize, and under oath, the AG lied to Congress about it, and so did a couple of his minions. Spin it they way you want, but hopefully the truth will come out.

First and foremost, the President can fire any or all of them, but the question remains, why was that midnight bill slipped into the Patriot Act that stripped Congress from approving the newly appointed USA's?

That in it self is one hell of a mistake, and people had better start waking up to it. Yes, I know, our Constitution, that every elected employee swore an oath to uphold, has our President calling it a "goddamn piece of paper." That in it's self should be sending alarm bells off all over this country.

Spin that into what ever you want, but that statement of his about the constitution is on record. Any how can any honest American think good of a President and Vice President, who were fucking cowards during the war in the Nam?

Fuck you lefties and righties, start looking at what is going on!

<a href="http://www.macsmin... (Below threshold)
jack moss:
"Any how can any honest Am... (Below threshold)
Ran:

"Any how can any honest American think good of a President and Vice President, who were fucking cowards during the war in the Nam?"........... Clinton?..hmmmm.. Is there even a thread of possibility that the "Midnight Bill" was slipped in because the Dems have a shit stir, grandstand issue on every single thing Bush does?.. these firings are a prime example. The only thing both parties seem to be OK with are Earmarks.

Perfect, Jack... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Perfect, Jack

It might be interesting to ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

It might be interesting to know what the U.S. Arrorney in Arkansas was investigating. Surely nothing to do with the former governor of that state. You people on the left are pathetic. No scruples, no morals and no intellectual honesty. I am reminded of pond scum when I think about you.

Says it all... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Says it all

Yep. But what it says isn't what you think it says. It says that you people want to just pretend the issue is the firing of the attorneys, and want to completely ignore the fact that Gonzales lied to Congress. So keep yelling "Bush has the right to fire the attorneys", because no one disagrees with that. But let's hear you once again defend how lying to Congress is just okey-dokey with you.

Just so all you poor old ko... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Just so all you poor old kos kiddies rejects know for sure--GONZALEZ IS GOING NOWHERE! Oh the pain of it. Next topic.

Alberto Gonzales has always... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Alberto Gonzales has always been in way, way, way, way over his head. Relieving him of his job will be a form of mercy.

Allen - "Any how can any ho... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Allen - "Any how can any honest American think good of a President and Vice President, who were fucking cowards during the war in the Nam?" What a bare assed stupid comment. Your opinions are meaningless when you spout nonsense like that.

Get over it...Bush is President, a fact I am pleased with and in '08
given the quality of Dim candiates...a Rep will be President again....suffer Allen. God... why are libby's so insufferable.

So let me get this straight... (Below threshold)

So let me get this straight. If democrats accuse republicans of doing something for political reasons, it absolves them for doing other things for political reasons?

This is much ado about nothing and democrats will blow it way out of proportion to justify their indignance. The media is also complicit in it by helping to blow it and other issues out of proportion using terms like "unprecedented" and "historic".

Would that Lee, Herman and others be so inclined to digg deep and answer why ALL of them were fired when Clinton took office. Have any of them ever worked in an office where someone got good or satisfactory performance ratings from a "friendly" boss but got fired because those performance evaluations were maybe not so true? I've seen employees get satisfactory ratings yet were totally imcompetent.

This is just another of their verbal cluster bombs to draw attention in fifty different directions. They start several small fires to keep people busy drawing attention from bigger issues.

God forbid if any one of them should acknowledge all the Democrat leftovers that kept their jobs when Bush took office.

Lee doesn't even belive his... (Below threshold)

Lee doesn't even belive his own political crony friends:

"What evidence was turned up in the voter fraud investigations that might need to be suppressed by the White House?"

The article clearly states that, "...some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud invesitgations."

So which is it, Lee? The article says they were not good enough, yet somehow you've extrapolated from that that they were too good. Yeesh.

Everybody misunderstood the... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Everybody misunderstood the AG. He didn't say the prosecutors were fired "for just cause" he said they were fired "Just 'cause".

They can fired AT ANY TIME ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

They can fired AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON. One could fire all 93 if one desired. They can be released for political reasons. And no one need explain.

Funny how when all 93 were fired in 1993 Schmuck Schumer had nothing to say. All were fired to eliminate the US Attorney from Arkansas.

But let 8 go....

What I find totally loathes... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

What I find totally loathesome is the failure on the part of CNN and the broadcast networks to inform the public that the President can fire them at any time for any reason and he does NOT have to explain himself to the media.

They need a civics refresher.

Badly.

The lefties have always bee... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The lefties have always been pathetic, waiting to pounce on somebody they disagree with. You have to be very lonely and hateful to live a life like that. The truth is Clinton lowered the bar for so many acts the demo's have a very hard time complaining about anything. So, they take some facts and make up a scenario, call it truth and that is that. It is a very delusional way to live. I see comments like " the administration snuck in the AG's ability to fire usa's without approval", which really means the lefties aren't concerned that their leaders in congress do not read the bills and acts they sign off on. Like I said, pathetic. This is going to be very embarassing to the 8 usa's because no one wants their personnel file read in a very public setting. This is nothing. Just like Plame and any other so called scandal the lefties say. I have said it before, hate is a terrible motivation. Loaded with mistakes waiting to happen. ww

This whole thing seems to b... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This whole thing seems to be the classic Democrat/union-type of argument. Everyone is entitled to a job regardless of qualifications. Once a person is hired, they may never be fired without a realy, realy, really good reason.

Travelgate - The Wh... (Below threshold)
hansel2:

Travelgate - The White House Travel Office is in the residential section of the White House, and as such, staffers serve strictly at the pleasure of the president. Historically, a change of administrations usually resulted in a brand new Travel Office staff. Despite the established presidential privilege of replacing staffers at will, Congressional Republicans alleged that friends of President Bill Clinton, including his cousin Catherine Cornelius, had engineered the firings in order to get the business for themselves. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr also investigated the firings and could find no evidence of wrongdoing on the Clintons' part.

So, I guess this means you'll consider the Clinton's actions fine regarding the travel office since they can be fired at AT ANY TIME for ANY REASON. (And, by the way, there was no evidence of wrong doing from the Clintons regarding this fiasco, despite what I'm sure will be right wing lies to the contrary).

Rove wanted one of his men in there. Hmmm. Hypocrites?

There's a lot of talk about... (Below threshold)

There's a lot of talk about how Clinton "fired" all the US Attorneys when he took office and how this is just SOP. How many did Bush "fire" when he took office? It had to be a pretty large number, seeing as all of these attourneys that he recently "fired" were his own appointments from his first term, replacing previous ones he "fired" when he came into office. Yes, these were all Republicans that were "fired", just ones that weren't doing enough to toe the line (or perhaps too much to investigate Republican corruption, in some cases). And these attorneys probably would have simply packed up and walked away with little being said until the completely incompetent people at the AG's office claimed they were being fired for poor performance to the media. That blatant lie kind of made them angry. And now, the administration, AG, and the Republican party is paying the price for that folly.

two words not yet mentioned... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

two words not yet mentioned in this entire thread:

DUKE CUNNINGHAM

Carol Lam was the US Attorney on that case and this article contains the following paragraph:

In an e-mail dated May 11, 2006, Sampson urged the White House counsel's office to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam," who then the U.S. attorney for southern California. Earlier that morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam's corruption investigation of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., had expanded to include another California Republican, Rep Jerry Lewis.

The other attornies fired were likely supposed to be cover for this one.

More generally, yes Clinton fired all 93, but as has been said, that is SOP for a change in administration, especially when the political party changes. Bush did the same thing, so tit for tat there. But this round of firings is unprecedented, and undoubtedly unethical if not "illegal".

To address another argument, yes, US attornies "serve at the pleasure of the president", but they also serve to enforce the law of the United States, which in my opinion, should take precedence over the president's pleasure.

And the president's pleasure (in some cases) was to investigate non-existent voter fraud and corruption charges for partisan purposes (in that light, what ever happened to the Bob Menendez corruption story that popped up pre-election?). Other cases where to rush indictments so they'd be announced before the election. If that's the president's pleasure, then it is the duty of these attornies to ignore such requests. Then if the president chooses to toss them, he must deal with the political consequences, which he is, and rightfully so.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/14/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention.

And here is the one little ... (Below threshold)
Allen:

And here is the one little ol' fact that keeps you coming back to gnash your ivories: The attorneys who were fired were republicans. All republicans. R-E-P-U-B-L-C-A-N-S.
You Bushies not only do not speak for America, you don't even speak for the Republican party any more.
Ohhhhh, that's gotta hurt.

"If competence and performance were the reasons for the terminations, why did Justice wait almost two years to do anything about it?" I continue to think that the real story is not WHO is behind the firings, but WHY. It sounds like there was some serious criminal activity going on that the admin did not want disrupted by justice.

What a relief it is to know... (Below threshold)
liberalnuts:

What a relief it is to know the Bush administration still has done nothing wrong--ever. It is amazing. I thought they were going to have to take some responsability for once. Luckily, you guys are here to show that they never, ever, wrong. The list is staggering.

Libby--not their fault

Firings--not their fault

The war--not their fault

Being wrong about WMDs--Not their fault

Being wrong about being greeted as liberators--Not their fault

Insurgency last throes--not their fault.

Not winning in Iraq--Not their fault.

Valerie Plame--not their fault and realted to libby anyway.

New orleans most definetly--not their fault (Even if the president went back to sleep after being told "We need everything you got.")

I just don't see how the liberals can so consistently be wrong about everything. it's amazing.

Anyway we all know that if anything ever is this president's fault(I know, like that could happen) we can all rest assured that the buck stops here.

"If competence and perfo... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

"If competence and performance were the reasons for the terminations, why did Justice wait almost two years to do anything about it?" I continue to think that the real story is not WHO is behind the firings, but WHY. It sounds like there was some serious criminal activity going on that the admin did not want disrupted by justice.

Yes, it clearly shows they were trying to uncover the Jews and the Bush family masterminding 9/11 and that's why they were fired.
(/snark)

OHTEHNOES! POLITICAL APPOIN... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

OHTEHNOES! POLITICAL APPOINTEES WERE FIRED! OH TEH NOES!!!

two words not yet mentio... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

two words not yet mentioned in this entire thread:

DUKE CUNNINGHAM


Like, uh, wouldn't it be a good idea to remove her BEFORE Cunningham's conviction?

D'oh!

Libby--not their fault... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Libby--not their fault

The target of the investigation gets immmunity? Hello?

Firings--not their fault

Need a civics lesson, here

The war--not their fault

Being wrong about WMDs--Not their fault

I think Bush accepted that responsibility but don't let facts get in your way. That's so gay.

Being wrong about being greeted as liberators--Not their fault

They WERE greeted as liberators. It was on all the TV's! You shoulda been watching!

Insurgency last throes--not their fault.

Their fault.

Not winning in Iraq--Not their fault.

it's not over yet, there, cupcake.

Valerie Plame--not their fault and realted to libby anyway.

DEFINITELY not their fault. Joe's fault. ALL Joe's fault.

New orleans most definetly--not their fault (Even if the president went back to sleep after being told "We need everything you got.")

On Friday and Saturday Bush urges Nagin and Blanco to evacuate.

They say no.

Monday AM Bush asks if all levees are intact. Blanco says they're fine.

On Tuesday Bush asks for control of the situation. Nagin and Blanco say no.

Wednesday Blanco asks for "all you got."

What you don't got is the story straight. Liberals really hate facts. Go back to Kos. Being absent the facts suits your arguments better over there.

Like, uh, wouldn't it be... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Like, uh, wouldn't it be a good idea to remove her BEFORE Cunningham's conviction?

D'oh!
drjohn

In an e-mail dated May 11, 2006, Sampson urged the White House counsel's office to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam," who then the U.S. attorney for southern California. Earlier that morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam's corruption investigation of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., had expanded to include another California Republican, Rep Jerry Lewis.
McClatchy News

D'OH!!

The Duke Cunningham Case involved more than just Duke, jackass.

The target of the investiga... (Below threshold)
liberlanuts:

The target of the investigation gets immmunity? Hello?

Convicted by a jury of his peers. Hello?

Need a civics lesson, here

I'll be happy to teach you.

The war--not their fault

I think Bush accepted that responsibility but don't let facts get in your way. That's so gay.

I was talking about lunatics like you that defend whatever this administration does.

They WERE greeted as liberators. It was on all the TV's! You shoulda been watching!

That's your problem too much TV and not enough reading. A very small segment of the population greeted them as liberators. Others started shooting. You may have even noticed an insurgency.

Their fault.

agreed.

Not winning in Iraq--Not their fault.

it's not over yet, there, cupcake.

Hope I'm wrong on this but it looks bad.

DEFINITELY not their fault. Joe's fault. ALL Joe's fault.

Proves my point.

On Friday and Saturday Bush urges Nagin and Blanco to evacuate.

They say no.

5:00 PM (Saturday) CDT: New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin declares a State of Emergency and issues a voluntary evacuation order, saying he is having his legal team determine if he can order a mandatory evacuation without exposing the city to legal liability for the closure of hotels and other businesses.

Sunday: Nagin makes his evacuation order mandatory. For residents who lack the means to leave the city, Nagin orders the Superdome opened as a shelter of last resort.

on Sunday: According to the AP, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offers Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard. Blanco accepts, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route doesn't come from Washington until late Thursday , Sep 2.


"Monday AM Bush asks if all levees are intact. Blanco says they're fine."

Monday: 7:30 AM CDT -- BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOTIFIED OF THE LEVEE BREACH: (Source AP)

Monday:11:13 AM CDT - WHITE HOUSE CIRCULATES INTERNAL MEMO ABOUT LEVEE BREACH: "Flooding is significant throughout the region and a levee in New Orleans has reportedly been breached sending 6-8 feet of water throughout the 9th ward area of the city." (Today show)

On Tuesday Bush asks for control of the situation. Nagin and Blanco say no.

Tuesday: 8PM CDT -- GOV. BLANCO AGAIN REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM BUSH: "Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you've got." [Newsweek]

Bush goes to bed.

Wednesday Blanco asks for "all you got."

This happend on Tuesday.

On Wednesday.

Bush blithely proceeded with the rest of his schedule for the day, accepting a gift guitar at one event and pretending to riff like Tom Cruise in "Risky Business."


What you don't got is the story straight. Liberals really hate facts.

Reality really is a liberal bias and don't lecture me on facts. get your own facts straight.

(CBS/AP) President Bush on ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

(CBS/AP) President Bush on Sunday urged people living in the path of Hurricane Katrina to take the storm extremely seriously and to move to safer ground.

Mayfield did NOT warn of levee failure, as reported. He warned of overtopping of levees.

Nagin sends evacuees to Superdome where there is no provision for supplies. Liberal media reports dead babies, cannibalism.

----------------------

Later in the call, White House aide Joe Hagin asks specifically about the condition of the levees. Gov. Kathleen Blanco tells him that no failures were confirmed -- yet.

"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees," Blanco said. "I think we have not breached the levee. We have not breached the levee at this point in time. That could change, but in some places we have floodwaters coming in New Orleans East and the line at St. Bernard Parish where we have waters that are 8- to 10-feet deep, and we have people swimming in there, that's got a considerable amount of water."

-------------------------------

In the hectic hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to a new video obtained by the Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.

"We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video that was obtained Thursday night.

"We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time." (AP)

Not Thinkprogress.org

---------------------
Concern over possible levee breaches does show up in the transcript of a conference on Aug. 29. Participating from Air Force One, Hagin, the deputy White House chief of staff, asks about "the current status of the levee system."

Brown, who later resigned as FEMA chief under pressure, told participants he had spoken twice that day to Bush directly and that the president was "asking questions about reports of breaches."

Blanco said that, as of then, "we have not breached the levee" but "that could change." The Louisiana governor said, however, that water in some low-lying areas was 8 to 10 feet deep.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/katrina/20060308-1352-reconstructingkatrina.html

Late Morning (exact time un... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Late Morning (exact time uncertain) - The vital 17th Street Canal levee gives way, sending the water from Lake Pontchartrain into the city in a second, slower wave of flooding than inundates the downtown area. A full day will pass before state or federal officials fully realize what is happening.

http://www.factcheck.org/article348.html

<a href="http://www.macsmin... (Below threshold)
Jack Moss:
Move on. Gonzales is toast.... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Move on. Gonzales is toast.

Bill and Janet fired all 93... (Below threshold)
Glenn M. Cassel, AMH1(AW), USN, RETIRED:

Bill and Janet fired all 93 in 93(catchy dontcha think). George and Alberto fired 8. Maybe job performance figured in? Oops, I forgot, the private sector doesn't understand the concept. My mother was a school teacher. The only thing that mattered was "tenure". No sympathy for the 8 and no sympathy for the dhimmocrats.

..nothing to see here from ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

..nothing to see here from ABC here..move along
New unreleased e-mails from top administration officials show that the idea of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys was raised by White House adviser Karl Rove in early January 2005, indicating Rove was more involved in the plan than the White House previously acknowledged.

The e-mails also show that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales discussed the idea of firing the attorneys en masse while he was still White House counsel, weeks before he was confirmed as attorney general.

The e-mails directly contradict White House assertions that the notion originated with recently departed White House counsel Harriet Miers, and was her idea alone.

Oh go read Patterico. They... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oh go read Patterico. They were fired for performance issues, but P nicely shows how the LATimes selectively quoted the emails for useful idiots like you.
=========

And this latest ABC stuff i... (Below threshold)
kim:

And this latest ABC stuff is old hat and irrelevant to the current firings. Clinton was Rove's inspiration for firing all 93 attorneys. Surely the coincidence of the number 93 bore in on your usefully idiotic brain.
=============================




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