My decision some months ago to privately seek the resignations of a small number of U.S. attorneys has erupted into a public firestorm. First and foremost, I appreciate the public service of these fine lawyers and dedicated professionals, each of whom served his or her full four-year term as U.S. attorney. I apologize to them, their families and the thousands of dedicated professionals at the Justice Department for my role in allowing this matter to spin into an undignified Washington spectacle.I'm sure the "unintended public controversy" part is true. Gonzos sin is not so much what he did do but what he didn't do - keep the DOJ separate from the politics of the White House. He effectively was little more than a rubber stamp for Karl Rove's evil political activities. Marty Lederman is right when he talks about The Misplaced Focus on Gonzales. This has Karl Roves fingerprints all over it. Yes Gonzo is gone but that is just the beginning not the end of the story.
What began as a well-intentioned management effort to identify where, among the 93 U.S. attorneys, changes in leadership might benefit the department, and therefore the American people, has become an unintended public controversy.
Arlan Specter on ABC's This Week had this to say:
Specter said Gonzales must explain the firing the U.S. attorneys case by case — and convince senators they were not done to interfere with or promote ongoing criminal investigations aimed at benefiting Republicans.It should be obvious that the answer to "The No. 1 question" is no.
If he is unable to do so, Gonzales should consider reinstating the fired prosecutors, Specter said.
While a president has a right to replace U.S. attorneys for no reason at all, "you can't replace them for a bad reason," he said.
"The No. 1 question is, is he capable of administering the Department of Justice, did he have enough hands on to know what's happening? Can he explain why these individuals were asked to resign and justify the reasons for doing so?" Specter said.
Josh Marshall has a must read piece on the David Iglesias firing and how that be be what brings the entire house of cards down. The Iglesias firing can be tied directly to Karl Rove and the Bush administration. Go read it.