Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 20, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WHY WERE THEY FIRED?....Over at TPMmuckraker, Paul Kiel points to something that I too found odd when I was skimming through the Purgegate document dump last night:

Among the documents last night are some showing that the "performance related" reasons for firing eight prosecutors were the result of an ongoing collobaration at Justice. In other words, the officials appear to have brainstormed on the reasons they had fired the eight.

What Paul means is that DOJ hasn't released any documents from prior to the purge showing how they judged the performance of the folks they were firing. All we have is a summary document from after the purge, where DOJ apparatchiks are tripping over themselves trying to figure out just what those reasons were. But of course, that doesn't make sense. If they had really had firm, irreproachable reasons for firing the "USA-8," they would have just dug up the old memos that spelled out those reasons and transferred them to the summary sheet. Or maybe just released the original memos themselves. Instead they were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

But there was something else I noticed as I read the document that Paul highlighted: there was a noticable difference in the quality of the stated reasons for firing the eight prosecutors. Some reasons seemed pretty strong, some pretty weak, and a couple in between. Here's how they looked to me:

  • Strong: Chiara, Ryan, Cummins. The first two seem to have had serious morale/management issues that had previously required on-site visits to address. Cummins was planning to resign eventually anyway.

  • Middling: Charlton, McKay. In both cases, EOUSA managers appeared to be unhappy about "insubordination" and working "outside of proper channels." It's not clear what the problems were, but these are at least colorable stories.

  • Weak: Bogden, Iglesias, Lam. In the first two cases, virtually no reasons are given at all. "Lack of energy" and "Underperforming generally" is the best they could come up with. In Lam's case, they complained about "time management" and then tossed in some items about illegal immigration and gun prosecutions that were pretty plainly bogus.

Notice anything unusual about this list? I didn't at first, but it turns out that the five firings with the weakest official explanations are the same five prosecutors who have been suspected of being either too tough on Republican corruption cases or too weak on Democratic ones. You can't very well put that on your summary sheet, though, which probably explains why the DOJies had trouble coming up with good reasons for firing them. The dots are practically begging to be connected here.

One of the interesting things this affair demonstrates is that Bush and his confidants are still clueless. They genuinely didn't expect this to blow up in their faces. They thought everyone would buy their story that this was a routine housecleaning and then move on. They simply haven't figured out that, given their track record over the past six years, no one is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. Even their own supporters are barely willing to defend them. But they still don't get that.

Kevin Drum 5:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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Foggio => Gross => Cheney

Cut out Lam, and you have broken the line of inquiry. Seems pretty clear at this point.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on March 20, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who is familiar with government/military type evaluations knows that general statements such as "lack of energy" and "underperforming generally" just don't cut it. Supervisors need to provide specific examples of the behaviors that are being criticized, with places, names, and dates. Otherwise, the whole evaluation is suspect and can be easily challenged legally or before a review panel.

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on March 20, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why were they fired?

They didn't pleasure the President.

Now all we need to do is Impeach Bush for lying about it.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

WHY WERE THEY FIRED?

Because they were undistinguished attorneys who lacked the energy to fight crime. And they had the wrong priorities in choosing what crimes to prosecute also. They weren't willing to use the death penalty on child predators and other kinds of terrorists. They didn't prosecute enough obscenity cases or corruption cases or illegal immigration cases. Overall they were just bad prosecuters and they deserved to be dumped.

Posted by: Al on March 20, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin!!!!

Cummins was NOT planning to resign anyway. He has said that he would NOT have resigned if he had not been asked. He had serious concerns about it because USA's are not asked to resign in the middle of a President's term unless there are performance issues, but he nevertheless recognized that the Prez had the power to do it and he was willing to not raise a stink. Seriously, you should listen to this interview -- http://www.pbs.org/now/news/311.html

The reason for Cummins was that they wanted another guy (with a really bad resume by the way) to take his place. They have been honest about this and it was "legal," but that does not mean it was a "strong" reason or even a good reason at all. Unless of course honesty itself is "strong" in this administration, which it might be.

Posted by: Jon on March 20, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mundane banality dooms Whitehouse. Ms. Arndt is not surprised.

Posted by: Brojo on March 20, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Henery, I think trotting out debunked and disproved bullshit would be a good note-to-self to make on the moderation protocols.

Just a though.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on March 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously the cluelessness is spot on, and I think they're still adjusting to the fact that anyone would even question their machinations (i.e., a Dem Congress). The other point to make is, why would they even care about their conduct? Running roughshod over traditional norms is their signature tactic.

Running the executive branch the way they have for six years may have gone to their heads.

Posted by: FuzzFinger on March 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Al;
I find your claims to be specious and difficult to believe. Please quantify your statements. How many obscenity cases are enough? How many were they supposed to prosecute? How many did they prosecute? What priorities, specifically, would have saved their jobs?

In short - stop wasting network bandwidth.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, You may want to reclassify the rationale for Chiara's dismissal after reading eriposte's analysis of her situation: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/010030.php

"Let's just say that it is rather interesting that they were willing to retain Chiara in a senior position within the DOJ after privately planning to trash her using the talking point "Under the USA's tenure the office has become fractured, morale has fallen and the USA has lost the confidence of several members of the leadership team and some career prosecutors". This only reveals that the talking point cannot really be believed."

Posted by: zAmboni on March 20, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

But didn't they expect it to blow up in their faces? I think the chief of staff, Sampson, acknowledged in an email that they knew it would generate a firestorm that they would have to withstand. I can't recall whether he wrote that before or after the election, but I doubt they're seeing anything they didn't anticipate, at least in a general sense.

For whatever reason, there is no beating they aren't willing to take to protect Rove.

Posted by: dkd on March 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

They may be clueless, but it seems like they are going to get away with these shenanigans to cover their tracks.

A successful investigation will require that the turdblossom testify under oath, and he ain't gonna do that.

Posted by: gregor on March 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

It cracked me up to read those headlines on Monday with Bush "pleading" for "patience," and die-hard Repubs saying that Bush's plan "deserved" a trial run.

Why?

He has been wrong over and over, again and again. Why does he get another do-over? Why didn't he start this surge last year after the mosque was bombed? Why was he asleep at the wheel until the November 2006 elections? Now that he's waked up, why do we trust his perceptions or his opinions?

We've heard lie after lie from the Bush administration. I automatically categorize anything they say as a lie unless it is corroborated by someone who has a reputation for telling the truth. Someone like that used to be Colin Powell, BTW. He was their last match and they used him to blow up Iraq. Oops. Out of matches and credibility. Like the hero of "To Build a Fire" they are well and truly f*#%ed.

Posted by: cowalker on March 20, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

If you haven't seen it yet, check this post out.

Posted by: Swan on March 20, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, uh, Al,

If they were so bad at their jobs, why did they get good job performance reviews? Including a recommendation from the AG himself? Either you're not quite up to speed on the facts surrounding this story, or you're ignoring them.

Posted by: FuzzFinger on March 20, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

They simply haven't figured out that, given their track record over the past six years, no one is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Well, Michael Kinsley, Jay Carney, and much of the mainstream media are still willing to give them that benefit. Most other reasonably alert and sane Americans, not so much.

Posted by: Stefan on March 20, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

A successful investigation will require that the turdblossom testify under oath, and he ain't gonna do that.
Posted by: gregor on March 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

You're assuming that he'd actually tell the truth if he was under oath.

Why would you assume that? The man has absolutely zero ethics, integrity, or morals. He's the lowest order of scum there is. Perhaps if he were tortured. . .

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The headline writers are still giving Bush the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on March 20, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"If they had really had firm, irreproachable reasons for firing the "USA-8," they would have just dug up the old memos that spelled out those reasons and transferred them to the summary sheet."

Hmmm...what does this remind me of. Oh, that's right! There was an administration a few years ago that invaded a country because, they said, that country had "weapons of mass destruction" that posed a threat to the US, then spent months going through Iraqi files and combing the countryside looking for proof of the existence of those weapons. Would have been nice if they'd lined up the proof first, but, as nobody ever held them accountable for doing it that way back then, or even called them on the illogic, they can perhaps be forgiven for believing they could get away with that kind of cart before the horse operation again.

Posted by: mrgumby2u on March 20, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think Lam is a particularly interesting case; apparently, of those who asked for an extension, she's the only one they didn't grant an extension to. And, as you note, she's one of the ones without even a decent shadow of a reason to have been fired.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 20, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

> Overall they were just bad prosecuters
> and they deserved to be dumped.

Interesting. Were they selected by Meiers, Gonzales, or Rove? Who made the decision to keep them on after the 2004 election (when they could have been legitimately replaced)? Why do the performance evaluations for most of them state that they are doing "excellent" jobs?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on March 20, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"no one is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore"

Damn, haven't we been saying that for a year or two? Admittedly I wasn't particularly willing from Day 1 - my take was let them prove they're worthy of it, which they never did even once.

Posted by: mroberts on March 20, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

zAmboni: Yeah, I read all that stuff about Chiara. But the tone of the emails actually seems to support the idea that they genuinely had management issues with her but were willing to move her into a less visible position because she was pleading for a new job and it seemed like a workable compromise. The new job, after all, didn't involve supervising an independent office with a large staff.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 20, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting... Per TPM, the White House will allow Miers and Rove to testify, but not under oath and not in public, and no public transcript to be provided.

Posted by: PaulB on March 20, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK
Kevin, You may want to reclassify the rationale for Chiara's dismissal after reading eriposte's analysis of her situation: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/010030.php

"Let's just say that it is rather interesting that they were willing to retain Chiara in a senior position within the DOJ after privately planning to trash her using the talking point "Under the USA's tenure the office has become fractured, morale has fallen and the USA has lost the confidence of several members of the leadership team and some career prosecutors". This only reveals that the talking point cannot really be believed."

The thing with Chiara is that they agreed to delay her departure (as they did with all but one of the USA's that requested an extension when told they were being asked to leave), and as the time was getting closer, political attention on the firings (her resignation hadn't yet been announced) had already begun to intensify, and the emails show they were very interested in not having her case be seen as connected to the other dismissals.

She also, in publicly pointing to her community support in connection with her requests for further extensions or favorable consideration for other positions, seems to make implicit threats of a political cost if she doesn't get handled well.

I think the evidence is overwhelming that whether or not she was being moved out as USA for political reasons, the consideration of finding a senior position in DoJ for her when she left as USA was clearly for nothing but managing political fallout: the whole thing was threatening to blow up already, and they didn't need someone who was very clearly not going to play as nice as some of the other dismissed USAs and clearly had a very clear idea of her own political assets to add to their problems.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 20, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe someone has already made this point, but I don't remember reading it anywhere: It's most likely the WH knew which USAs it wanted to remove -- the 3 most involved in investigating Republicans or least willing to go after Democrats. But limiting the purge to those 3 would have made the pattern -- and therefore the true rationale -- too obvious. Miers' initial idea to remove all 93 was probably dreamed up as a way of burying these 3 as deeply as possible, to make it almost impossible for someone to see what they were really trying to achieve. But because that was such a bad idea, they agreed on a few others they would remove at the same time, simply to obscure what was happening.

Posted by: DNS on March 20, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Al gets his 'news' from sources that lie to him. He has been told this, but clearly he doesn't mind.

Al likes being lied to.

Posted by: DNS on March 20, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You linked to the study Krugman recently discussed: the one documenting how 7 Democrats have been investigated/indicted for every Republican in the Bush DOJ since 2000. That kind of thing doesn't just happen over six years on a massive, national scale by coincidence. Nailing Dem pols and protecting Republican pols has been the de facto policy in DOJ for years. There is no other reasonable explanation.

Let's be frank: even Josh Marshall would have missed this story if (a.) Lam wasn't conducting such a high profile series of investigations and (b.) the White House hadn't altered to the Patriot Act so they could bypass the Senate with their replacement US Attorneys.

Kyle Sampson said it best in his now infamous email: "80-85 percent" of US Attorneys are "loyal Bushies." What exactly do you think that means?

Protect Republicans. Take down Democrats. That's how you earn your stripes as a "loyal Bushie" in the Department of Justice.

Posted by: owenz on March 20, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin --
In the employment law field, justifications (usually pretextual) put together frantically after an employee is terminated and the termination comes under scrutiny, is called "making a book" on the employee. Judges familiar with this dynamic will focus on the documentation BEFORE the termination, and what information was shared with the employee.

To PaulB -- "Testimony" not under oath, and not on the record, is useless. It's not testimony at all. By definition, there's no accountability and no consequence for deceit.

Oh, and Al. I'ts spelled "prosecutOrs".

Posted by: shystr on March 20, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Who do you think you are, Drum? Joshua Micah Whatever - the dirty Birkenstock-wearing hippie? Where are your relatives - snare and kettle? Why don''t you get a real job and stop laying around the house with those flea-infested cats, pretending you know something and downloading gay porn between your dumbass blog brain farts?

Posted by: Grumpy old man on March 20, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

One thing nobody has said, and it's really one of the most important questions:

What's the damage assessment - particularly with Lam's firing?

Is Foggo going to get off scott free? Or will that prosecution/investigation continue. Any level, professional analysis of that? Who knows?

The other important point nobody seems to be making; (but everyone HAS to be thinking it) - is that Bush tried to stack Meiers on the Supreme Court. Maybe there's more to her than meets the eye. Or is she a complete sock-puppet?

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

What part of "serve at the pleasure of the president." don't you understand ?

Nice game of "uproar", though.

Posted by: Mike K on March 20, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

From crooksandliars:

Conyers says he will issue subpoenas tomorrow -- incl. (probably) for Rove and Miers

Posted by: DNS on March 20, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K also likes being lied to by his government.

Posted by: DNS on March 20, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

... By definition, there's no accountability and no consequence for deceit....
Posted by: shystr on March 20, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

If Rove got up there under oath and lied, and didn't get caught, what would the consequence be? Nothing.

Under oath is irrelevant for this worm.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

What part of "serve at the pleasure of the president." don't you understand ?

Nice game of "uproar", though.

What part of "obstruction of justice" don't you understand?

Nice game of "dishonesty in defense of incompetence and corruption," though.

Posted by: bobb on March 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

They simply haven't figured out that, given their track record over the past six years, no one is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. Even their own supporters are barely willing to defend them. But they still don't get that.

And then there's Al.

Posted by: Lettuce on March 20, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

For the latest news, hearings, legal filings and other essential documents on the Bush DOJ prosecutor firings, see:
"The U.S. Attorney Scandal Documents."

Posted by: AngryOne on March 20, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK
What part of "serve at the pleasure of the president." don't you understand ?

The part where it would be important to underline that decisions were made by "the Administration" and "not any specific person at the White House or Department of Justice". Why obscure the responsible party—the President, by your suggestion—if there was nothing wrong with it?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 20, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

"'Testimony' not under oath, and not on the record, is useless. It's not testimony at all. By definition, there's no accountability and no consequence for deceit."

You won't get any argument from me. That's why I found it interesting -- that the White House was placing so many restrictions on this.

Posted by: PaulB on March 20, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wow, Rove and Miers agreed to testify in secret, no oath and no transcript. Doesn't that say it all.
Bush is saying there is no evidence no one did anything wrong--I think that was his sentence structure.
His eyes seem strained, he says he will take it to court. This is an amazing situation. He is sorry it bubbled to the sitution for these attorneys, says they serve at our pleasure. I thought Jeff Gannon served at their pleasure.

Posted by: consider wisely always on March 20, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

What part of "serve at the pleasure of the president." don't you understand ?

Yeah, if only the same standard was extended to White House Interns.

(or Jeff Gannon)

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Tommorrow morning a vote in the house and Thursday a vote in the senate judiciary committees. Go dems.

Posted by: consider wisely always on March 20, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

What law was broken?

In law schools, it is common to give an exam called the “issue spotter,” in which students are given a set of facts and asked to identify all the legal issues and possible crimes. The facts about the purge are still emerging. But based on what is known — and with some help from Congressional staff members and Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University — it was not hard to spot that White House and Justice Department officials, and members of Congress, may have violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 1501-1520, the federal obstruction of justice statute.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/opinion/19mon4.html?_r=1&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fC%2fCohen%2c%20Adam&oref=slogin

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on March 20, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

The complaints about Lam's immigration record came after
"For instance, they write: "Among some 3,000 pages of Justice Department documents delivered to Congress last night were e-mails describing a feud between fired San Diego prosecutor Carol Lam and Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who complained that she hadn't aggressively enforced immigration laws along the Mexican border.
"Democrats have questioned whether Lam was fired for leading the investigation of Randall H. 'Duke' Cunningham, a former California Republican congressman who pleaded guilty to accepting millions of dollars in bribes to help companies get defense contracts."
But the Issa exchange, as well as a letter from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressing concern over Lam's immigration record both came after-- not before -- Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson warned the White House of a "real problem" with Lam. That warning came one day after Lam notified the Justice Department of search warrants in a Republican bribery scandal.

[Link to White House Watch may be broken]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100879

Posted by: Mike on March 20, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Quiet! They are busy writing the pre-purge documents as we talk.

Posted by: della Rovere on March 20, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wow, Rove and Miers agreed to testify in secret, no oath and no transcript. Doesn't that say it all.

As Reid pointed out, the only reason to insist on those restrictions is if they were planning on lying.

And Mike K, I can only echo bobb: Nice game of dishonesty in defense of incompetence and corruption. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on March 20, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

they didn't need someone who was very clearly not going to play as nice as some of the other dismissed USAs and clearly had a very clear idea of her own political assets to add to their problems.

Not quite. She was playing much nicer than the other USAttys, while holding over their heads the prospect of joining the others in their criticisms if they didn't meet her demands.

Posted by: Disputo on March 20, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK
Not quite. She was playing much nicer than the other USAttys, while holding over their heads the prospect of joining the others in their criticisms if they didn't meet her demands.

The only part I disagree with is the "Not quite", since what you say is pretty much exactly what I said: they didn't need someone who wasn't going to play as nice, so they were willing to go out of their way to make sure she did play nice.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 20, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K also likes being lied to by his government.

Posted by: DNS"

Why should I when I can come here and be lied to ?

I'll grant the whole thing was badly handled by Gonzales but there is no there, there, as Gertrude Stein would say. You accusing me of dishonesty is like...
Well, let's forget it.

Posted by: Mike K on March 20, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

They weren't clueless. Mr. Sampson specifically stated it would cause a firestorm. Either they still thought they had enough political capitol left to quell the firestorm or they felt the risks to not do it was too great. Perhaps they are relying on the judiciary to bail them out. Stick a fork in this administration, they are done.

Posted by: aline on March 20, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

It amazes me that these guys didn't even bother to do what any trained front-line manager knows to do: build up a credible, even if trumped up, file on someone you want gone before you fire them. For people who continual trumpet the value of the corporation over government, and who aspire to be 'CEOs' not statesmen, it's ironic that none of them would really do very well in a corporate environment.

I guess it was too hard to figure out the pretext first, cobble together some cover, and then pull the trigger. They're not just evil, they're lazy.

Posted by: biggerbox on March 20, 2007 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

You say Cummins was going to resign anyway. I can't find the source right off, but I thought I read recently, perhaps at Talkingpointsmemo, that Cummins has made clear that he only said after his firing that he was going to resign, and only said so to provide cover for the administration. When the DOJ folks testified that they fired him because he was going to resign anyway, he contradicted them. Can someone find this? Kind of puts Cummins in the "Weak" category.

Posted by: BobN on March 20, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Wow, Kevin. So of these 8 dismissals, only THREE are questionable in your opinion. And you can't even prove anything to for these cases!

Talk about a whole lot of stink over nothing.

This should die down in a couple more weeks. Then I'm rushing back here to laugh in your faces. You guys are due for a fall, bigtime.

Posted by: egbert on March 20, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

I practice criminal law in West Michigan. I haven't seen the slightest sign of any management or moral problems in the US Attorney's office. Chiara has a good reputation locally as a fair and efficient prosecutor.

The reasons given for firing her might be (relatively) "strong" if believed, but I don't believe them

Posted by: rea on March 20, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

egbert also has no problem being lied to.

Posted by: DNS on March 20, 2007 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Finestein has noted another interesting US Attorney connection
Feinstein asks the question everyone's been wondering about (from the AP)...
" Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday she wants answers about the departure of the former U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, who resigned last October before the Justice Department's dismissal of eight other U.S. attorneys sparked controversy.
"I have questions about Debra Yang's departure and I can't answer those questions right at this time," Feinstein, D-Calif. and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters in response to a question. "Was she asked to resign, and if so, why? We have to ferret that out."
Debra Wong Yang went to work for a private law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and has said she left of her own accord...."


Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is Ted Olsen's law firm and one that is extremely well connected in elitist Republican circles.

Posted by: Mike on March 21, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

They had to fire a few extra people outside the 5 in order to divert attention and have plausible deniability.

Too bad it failed...not.

Posted by: Jimm on March 21, 2007 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

On a related issue...I don't know why this isn't getting more play
Via the NY Times a study by two retired professors of communication (Donald Shields and John Cragan) compiling a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since Bush came to power.

“Of the 375 cases identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats…. in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.”

http://select.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/opinion/09krugman.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

From Shields and Cragan’s report:
“…of the U.S. Attorneys' federal investigation and/or indictment of 375 elected officials. The distribution of party affiliation of the sample is compared to the available normative data (50% Dem, 41% GOP, and 9% Ind.).”

http://www.epluribusmedia.org/columns/2007/20070212_political_profiling.html


In statewide and federal cases they found a total of 66 investigations. Here's the breakdown:

Democrats: 36
Republicans: 30

Corruption and power go hand in hand. Remember, for the majority of the period in question the Republicans controlled all the levers of national power, and did so in a very partisan manner excluding Democrats wherever possible.

The numbers for local cases paint an even more striking picture. They found 309 investigations, broken down as follows:

Democrats: 262
Republicans: 37
Independents: 10

Posted by: JackNYC on March 21, 2007 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

In the case of Iglesias He had tried and won a case against the democrat state treasurer just before the election. Although this should have been good for him. The fact is he almost lost the case. And right now the acting US attorney is appealing the light sentance given. Iglesias doesn't seem to be a shining star.

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/55801.html

Posted by: TruthPolitik on March 21, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

It there's no "there" there, and it's all about the pleasuring of the president, why is the administration so reluctant to have aides stating this under oath?

Their public testimony would totally clear this up.

Posted by: cowalker on March 21, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK
The reasons given for firing her might be (relatively) "strong" if believed, but I don't believe them

Chiara's emails suggest that her position was that virtually no one who knew what was going on would believe them, and the response of the DoJ leadership suggests that they believed her position and wanted to contain the political fallout—so, yeah, while I don't have personal knowledge, I'd have to say I'm inclined to be rather dubious, too.

Kevin has often seemed a bit to willing to give the Administration the benefit of the doubt on half of what they say as if that would give enhance the credibility of his criticism of the rest.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 21, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

"It there's no "there" there, and it's all about the pleasuring of the president, why is the administration so reluctant to have aides stating this under oath?"

Probably for the same reason why Clinton was similarly reluctant to concede executive powers to Congress. Senator Leahy had this figured out. Why can't you ?

"Their public testimony would totally clear this up."

Not as long as the LA Times keeps lying about the Lam case. She was fired for failing to enforce border security. What is amazing is the fact that Bush seems to care. The Cunningham case was not the reason and the Times lied to try to make a case that it was.

There is "there" there.

Posted by: Mike K on March 21, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK
She was fired for failing to enforce border security.

So, was the Justice Department leadership lying immediately before she was fired when they denied there was any problem in her district with that, and indeed highlighted her progress and intense devotion of resources to border security, or is it lying now when it says that she was dismissed for failing to devote attention and resources to border security?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 21, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

As Kagro X has pointed out though, the people responsible for enforcing Congressional subpoenas are the DOJ.

Or Congress gets to have trials.

The Bushies no this will never happen.

Posted by: MNPundit on March 21, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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