Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thoughts On U.S. Attorney Firing

While Monica is on break, I had just a couple of thoughts on this whole thing.

Quite a few people seem pretty apoplectic about the "overblown personnel matter," but I have never known what to make of it.

United States Attorneys are political appointees, who serve at the pleasure of the President. He can fire a U.S. Attorney because of the way the person parts his hair. For any reason, or no reason at all. President Bush was entitled to fire people whom he (or the Attorney General) thought weren't doing a good job. Or he could let people go just to shake things up, bring in new blood. Or, more likely, he could want to replace one political hack with another.

It would surely be improper to fire a U.S. Attorney to torpedo a case involving a political ally, or to bring a purely political case against one's political opponents. Or to punish a U.S. Attorney for prosecuting a political ally. At the same time, however, if the Attorney General believed that a U.S. Attorney wasn't bringing valid cases, it would be legitimate to replace that attorney with one who would.

I certainly don't trust the Bush administration at this point, and I thought that Al Gonzoles was singularly unimpressive in his testimony. But I have yet to see any evidence that these people were fired for improper reasons.

No comments: