Monday, April 16, 2007
Attorney General Gonzales will not be before Congress tomorrow as the decision was made to continue this hearing in light of yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech. (See Wall Street Jrl here)
Attorney General Gonzales' formal statement includes a wide array of different topics. Although he offers 6 3/4 pages on the "firings" scandal, he offers a good bit more in his 25 page statement that has nothing to do with why these attorneys were dismissed. One finds a discussion of the Adam Walsh Act, Terrorism, Gangs, Drug Enforcement, and a host of other topics that move past the issue at hand. So, why were these U.S. Attorneys let go? And when focusing on the U.S. Attorneys dismissals, he is basically at the same point as his preview statement.
He starts with his definition of terms and quotes former Acting Solicitor General and Assistant Attorney General Walter Dellinger who stated that an "improper reason" for dismissal would be: "The replacement of one or more U.S. attorneys in order to impede or speed along particular criminal investigations for illegitimate reasons." The basic premise Gonzales starts with implies that prosecutors in office can act politically, as long as the "criminal investigation" isn't political. What happened to the reason of poor performance? And although he now praises these former U.S. Attorneys, he tells us little of any investigation to see if outsiders were attempting to use political influence on criminal matters.
It is obvious that the issues that need to be discussed will be left to the questions and answers in the forthcoming hearing. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty may be "testing the waters" on other employment options.