Congressional oversight is a bitch: White House exposed as behind prosecutor purge - Page 6 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #51 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce R.
Only in YOUR opinion. Legal is legal, and it appears that you don't have a way to change that.


Do you have any idea how stupid those last five words sound? They (and that goes for all the prosecutors appointed by ANY President) are going to be shading what they do to cover the guys that gave them the job they have. That's a fact of life, get used to it. Janet Reno was so blatent as to be obvious, at least the present AG isn quite as obvious, and appologises for his public screw ups.
You might think it sounds stupid because you excuse all the indiscretions of the administration. You cannot show this has occurred before because of the political provisions slipped into the "Patriot Act" which allows such corrupt action. If Janet Reno had done this, you'd have drawn and quartered her without a trial.

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post #52 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Bruce, explain this, Reno-man:

GOP senator calls for Gonzales' head
POSTED: 6:23 p.m. EDT, March 14, 2007
New Hampshire's Sununu urges dismissal of attorney general


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The focus in the controversy over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is turning increasingly to Alberto Gonzales' future as attorney general.

Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire on Wednesday became the first Republican lawmaker to call for Gonzales' resignation.

"The president should fire the attorney general and replace him as soon as possible with someone who can provide strong, aggressive leadership," Sununu said in a statement released by his office.

Sununu told CNN's Dana Bash that Gonzales has lost all credibility because of the firings and a report last week that the FBI had underreported its use of national security letters to snoop on Americans.

Several Democratic senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, have called for Gonzales to resign or be fired.

President Bush said Wednesday he is "not happy" about mistakes surrounding the decision to fire the eight attorneys, but his faith in his attorney general is unwavering.

"I do have confidence in AG Al Gonzales," Bush said during a joint news conference with President Felipe Calderon in Merida, Mexico. "I talked to him this morning, and we talked about his need to go up to Capitol Hill and make it very clear to members in both political parties why the Justice Department made the decision it made."

He further said the decision to fire the eight attorneys was "entirely appropriate" and that the mistakes involved how the firings were explained to Congress. Past administrations have removed U.S. attorneys, and it's their right to do so, Bush said. (Watch Bush defend Gonzales but express displeasure )

"[Gonzales is] right; mistakes were made, and I'm frankly not happy about them because there is a lot of confusion over what really has been a customary practice by the president," Bush said.

Though The New York Times quoted GOP sources as saying the ordeal was exacerbating a growing rift between Gonzales and the administration, White House officials tell CNN that no such rift exists.

CNN political analyst Bill Bennett, a former Cabinet member under Republican presidents, said Gonzales' job will be in danger if Bush's confidence in him falters.

"There's one rule: Do not hurt the president, do not embarrass the president. He doesn't have any more shots," Bennett said.

Gonzales is expected to appear on Capitol Hill later this week, Justice Department officials said, adding they did not know with whom he would meet or whether the meetings would be public.

Gonzales admits making mistakes
Gonzales conceded Wednesday that he "absolutely" should have been more involved in the process that saw eight U.S. attorneys fired.

The attorney general added that he respected all U.S. attorneys and that the firing of the eight had nothing to do with political retribution as the dismissed prosecutors allege.

"I value their independence, their professionalism, what they do in the community and these decisions were not based on political reasons," Gonzales said. "The decisions were not based in any way on retaliation."

Gonzales said he charged his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, with determining "where we could do better" after then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers suggested canning all 93 U.S. attorneys, an idea Gonzales says he opposed.

"I had confidence in my chief of staff to drive that process forward, to vet names throughout the department," Gonzales said. (Watch Gonzales assert there was no retaliation in the firings )

Sampson came back with the list of names of eight U.S. attorneys, he said. The firing of the eight has sparked a furor among those who believe it was a political move rather than being related to job performance as the Justice Department claimed.

Sampson quit as Gonzales' chief of staff and Gonzales himself is facing calls to resign.

Gonzales said Tuesday that "mistakes were made," but turned the focus on himself in the Wednesday interview.

"I think I did make some mistakes and we're going to take steps to ensure that that doesn't happen again," he said.

Asked if he would heed calls to step down, Gonzales replied, "That is a decision for the president of the United States to make. I'm focused on doing my job."

On Tuesday, Gonzales said the lawyers should have been told why they were being fired and admitted the explanations initially given to Congress about the matter were "incomplete."

"As we can all imagine, in an organization of 110,000 people, I am not aware of every bit of information that passes through the halls of justice, nor am I aware of all decisions," he said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

"That is a sorry excuse," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said minutes later on the Senate floor. (Watch Schumer call for Gonzales to step down )

Schumer said Gonzales should resign.

"Did the attorney general not know that eight U.S. attorneys were to be fired?" Schumer said. "If he didn't know, he shouldn't be attorney general, plain and simple."

The Bush administration has said the fired attorneys -- seven in December and one months earlier -- were sacked because of poor performance.

Democrats accuse the administration of trying to dictate to the prosecutors, who are supposed to act in a nonpartisan way. Several of the prosecutors who were fired have said they were being pressured to move more quickly on some investigations.

David Iglesias of New Mexico testified last week that he felt Sen. Pete Domenici, a New Mexico Republican, was pushing him in October to rush indictments against Democrats before Election Day in November.

John McKay, fired U.S. attorney from Seattle, said he cut off detailed questions from an aide to Rep. Doc Hastings, a Washington Republican, about an inquiry into the disputed election of Washington state's Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2004, the AP said.

Gonzales said Wednesday that the attorneys' dismissals "were not based in any way to interfere with an ongoing public corruption case."

The House Judiciary Committee has invited Miers, Miers' ex-deputy William Kelley and Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, to appear voluntarily before the committee.

According to the invitation, the committee wants to talk to Rove about allegations that he heard complaints from a New Mexico GOP operative about Iglesias. Also, the letter states, there are questions arising from a White House assertion Tuesday that Rove passed those complaints on to Miers' office and the Justice Department. (Read letter)

The White House has said Rove wasn't involved in the actual firings.

E-mail trail
Democrats are examining e-mails between White House and Justice Department officials related to the firings. (Full story)

One e-mail from Sampson to Miers dated January 1, 2006, read, "You have asked whether President Bush should remove and replace U.S. Attorneys whose four-year terms have expired. I recommend that the Department of Justice and the Office of the Counsel to the President work together to seek the replacement of a limited number of U.S. attorneys."

On September 13, 2006, Sampson e-mailed Miers lists of federal attorneys "In the Process of Being Pushed Out" and those "We Now Should Consider Pushing Out." (Watch a congressman explain how e-mails suggest White House involvement in firings )

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday that President Bush has confidence in Gonzales, who served as White House counsel during Bush's first term.

Snow emphasized that Bush made "no recommendations on specific individuals."

CNN's Dana Bash, Ed Henry and Terry Frieden contributed to this report.
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post #53 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 05:14 PM
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From the Financial Times

Here is a link to the Financial Times of London, one of the absolutely LEAST politically motivated or slanted publications on the planet.

One paragraph that summarizes their overview of the firings and the link for the entire article.

US attorneys act as local federal prosecutors across the country and are routinely replaced when an administration changes. But this mid-term house-clearing – which started as a plan by Harriet Miers, former White House counsel, to replace all 93 top prosecutors – is unprecedented in modern times.

FT.com / Home UK / UK - Gonzales in trouble as tide turns against Team Texas

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post #54 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:06 PM
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With all do respect, DA is a political appointment.

What part of the phrase, "political appointment" eludes you folks?

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post #55 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:11 PM
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The problem was not the firing Bot, it was the lying about it.
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post #56 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:17 PM
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The problem was not the firing Bot, it was the lying about it.
OMG, who cares about that? Didn't we learn anything from Bill Clinton?

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post #57 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Professor
The problem was not the firing Bot, it was the lying about it.
OMG, who cares about that? Didn't we learn anything from Bill Clinton?

B
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post #58 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
OMG, who cares about that? Didn't we learn anything from Bill Clinton?

B
I gotta call bullshit on that one, dude...the appearance of impropriety is pretty stark here. I'm not ready to throw anyone under the bus, but going after these attorneys for NOT prosecuting democratic candidates RIGHT BEFORE the elections just reeks. I'm not sure what Gonzales has to say, but they've had the chance to categorically deny these acts and haven't. It's virtually unprecedented to remove more than one attorney at a time mid-term.

We don't know the whole story or all the facts, but the ones that are out indicate some underhandedness that I don't think belongs in politics. You might as well be stuffing ballot boxes. You can do a lot of shit in America, but messing with a vote in any clandestine manner like this is fucking off-limits.
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post #59 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:31 PM
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I gotta call bullshit on that one, dude...the appearance of impropriety is pretty stark here. I'm not ready to throw anyone under the bus, but going after these attorneys for NOT prosecuting democratic candidates RIGHT BEFORE the elections just reeks. I'm not sure what Gonzales has to say, but they've had the chance to categorically deny these acts and haven't. It's virtually unprecedented to remove more than one attorney at a time mid-term.

We don't know the whole story or all the facts, but the ones that are out indicate some underhandedness that I don't think belongs in politics. You might as well be stuffing ballot boxes. You can do a lot of shit in America, but messing with a vote in any clandestine manner like this is fucking off-limits.
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post #60 of 82 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I gotta call bullshit on that one, dude...the appearance of impropriety is pretty stark here. I'm not ready to throw anyone under the bus, but going after these attorneys for NOT prosecuting democratic candidates RIGHT BEFORE the elections just reeks. I'm not sure what Gonzales has to say, but they've had the chance to categorically deny these acts and haven't. It's virtually unprecedented to remove more than one attorney at a time mid-term.

We don't know the whole story or all the facts, but the ones that are out indicate some underhandedness that I don't think belongs in politics. You might as well be stuffing ballot boxes. You can do a lot of shit in America, but messing with a vote in any clandestine manner like this is fucking off-limits.
I understand why you feel that way but I guess I'm just a lot more cynical than you (and probably 99% of the people on planet Earth).

I cannot imagine any politician with discretionary power to hire & fire NOT making political decisions that would be legal and hurt his opponents. Usually they're not as graceless as this apparent attempt (I say "apparent" because I think there's a whole centipede's worth of shoes yet to drop).

Just for the sake of context, Ever since the formation of this country Presidents have hired and fired people that occupy important positions of trust -- ambassadors, cabinet members down to career civil servants (ask Andy Jackson and Abe Lincoln about that one).

To get all panty-wadded about this political skullduggery is to reveal an ignorance of law and history.

The bottom line is this: Is it legal? If it is illegal I have no doubt that zealous members of the completely objective and non-partisan Senate Judiciary will hold very sober hearings and withhold judgment until all of the evidence is in. Believe that and I have some oil additives I'd like to sell you that will never have to change and will improve your gas mileage.

If it is legal and folks think it should be illegal I can hardly wait to see how that bit of political waltzing plays-out.

B

PS Do I care whether it is THIS president? No. I don't give a damn. If Congress wants to enact laws to change it, don't let the gavel slow on its way down.
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