Friday, March 09, 2007

Judicial Purge

Senators write a letter. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the letter:

While the President has the right to fire U.S. Attorneys, we do not believe the American people are best served if the President chooses to fire U.S. Attorneys for political reasons – whether to put in place young ideologues or because he is displeased with the cases the U.S. Attorney is pursuing.

We strongly believe that if a President chooses to fire U.S. Attorneys for any reason, but especially for political reasons, he should explain and justify his decision.

A ReThug Senator is even upset. On this issue, & it's a good thing. Another couple of paragraphs from his letter:

"What the Justice Department testified yesterday is inconsistent with what they told me," Ensign said. "I can't even tell you how upset I am at the Justice Department."

Asked whether he believed he was misled, Ensign said, "I was not told the same thing that I was at the hearing, let me put it that way."

Ensign said he pressed the topic at a meeting with White House officials Wednesday morning. He added he would be "making further inquiries."

"I am not pleased with the Justice Department at this point," he said. "I told the White House this morning if I could renominate (Bogden) I would."

This couldn't be a travesty of justice or of America without Karl Rove adding his own unique brand of fascism to the mix. Here is a response to an interview with that worthless skin bag.

Taking things sequentially in his statement, the notion that "U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president" is true, but irrelevant in this context. Congress is not investigation whether the President has the legal authority to fire these USAs -- it is investigating what factors the President permits to influence his judgment. It is one thing to say "I am legally entitled to do X;" it is quite another to expect that you can do X for nefarious reasons and expect to go unchallenged in the political arena by a coordinate branch of government. Given the supine nature of Congress over the past six years, though, I can understand why Rove believed "because the President says so" is a reasonable excuse.

Rove's reliance on "the president can do it" to try to shut down debate, is specious for another reason. The President, for example, has unfettered rights to pardon people. If President Bush started selling pardons, under Rove's logic, Congress would have no right or reason to investigate what the President had done. Many Republicans certainly took a different tack with respect to investigating President Clinton's perhaps-poorly-considered pardon of Marc Rich.

Second, Clinton's firing of 93 U.S. Attorneys was far less insidious than what happened here. Clinton's decision was generally applicable to all U.S. Attorneys -- you were hired by a different administration and I will replace you without regard to the status of any of your ongoing investigations. No one was spared, and thus no single U.S. Attorneys conduct was at issue. Here, however, Bush has not created a rule of general applicability (i.e., at the beginning of his second term seeking resignation of all U.S. Attorneys). Rather, his administration has apparently systematically chosen to replace U.S. Attorneys who were not malleable enough with respect to particular investigations of individuals or entities allied with the Republican party. There is simply no comparison between these two acts.

Another idiot from Bu$hCo's Injustice Department denies making any kind of threat, if you know what I mean. Much thanks for the hard work of the folks over at Talking Points Memo its companion site TPM Muckraker.

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