And what a surprise; they go in front of Congress to say that there was no reason for their being fired.
But the hypocrisy of the Democrats moaning and groaning about the politicization of these jobs is just priceless. The Wall Street Journal reminds us today of how Bill Clinton handled the politicization of the justice system and US Attorneys. For all those with short memories, let us remember the first year of Clinton's presidency when he fired all 93 US Attorneys.
At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: "All those people are routinely replaced," he told reporters, "and I have not done anything differently." In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.Of course, some of these same Democrats who are so shocked, shocked that Bush fired eight US Attorneys had not a peep to say when Clinton fired 93, some of who were involved in sensitive prosecutions. My, my, how things change.
Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in Chicago, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.
Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to "politicizing" Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.