Gonzales Defends Himself

As a tuneup to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Alberto Gonzales has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post. It isn’t particularly noteworthy, but Gonzales does make some basic points:

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.
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.

I suppose it’s possible that somewhere in this story someone did something wrong, but evidence of that certainly hasn’t emerged so far. The only obvious potential wrongdoing would be if the administration removed a U.S. Attorney in order to stop an investigation that would reflect badly on it, as Bill Clinton did. But, again, there is no evidence of that, and U.S. Attorneys, as Gonzales notes, have prosecuted corruption cases against both Republicans and Democrats.
Here in Minnesota, we are having our own mini-controversy over the U.S. Attorney’s office. Scott writes about it below, and I contributed my thoughts at the Forum.


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