Is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ imminent departure really going to be enough to put the fired-prosecutors story to rest? It shouldn’t — certainly not after today’s disclosure in the Washington Post that Gonzales’ office was teeing up U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald while Fitzgerald was in the midst of the Valerie Plame leak investigation.
Fitzgerald was never actually fired, of course. But for the administration to be making ominous noises about his lack of loyalty at the very moment that he was investigating possible illegal behavior in the White House is repellent, to say the least.
TPM Muckraker has a great synopsis of the latest from last night’s document-dump.
The media are fully revved up now, but the danger is that they’ll drop the story as soon as Gonzales departs. They shouldn’t. Just as Scooter Libby’s conviction in the leak case told us more about Dick Cheney than it did about Libby, so do the shenanigans of Gonzales and his former aide D. Kyle Sampson tell us more about President Bush’s no-hold-bars political operation than it does about Gonzales and Sampson.
Yes, Harriet Miers and Karl Rove, that means you.
Meanwhile, “On the Media” this week has a useful discussion with Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick, who puts to rest the notion that the Bush administration’s attempt to get rid of eight U.S. attorneys in midstream is somehow analagous to Bill Clinton’s replacing all 93 at the beginning of his presidency.