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Document dump: The U.S. attorney e-mails

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 20, 2007 09:54 AM

***Update 12:51 pm: Senate limits Gonzales’ hiring authority***

Bloggers on the left and the right are sifting through the U.S. attorney-gate e-mails–3,000 pages of them now posted on the House Judiciary Committee website.

MSM outlets are digging, too. ABC News reports that beleaguered AG Alberto Gonzales doesn’t use e-mail. NYTimes writes: “The new e-mail provided fresh details about the internal administration deliberations and the at times clumsy handling of the dismissals.”

LA Times describes more failed damage control:

As the scandal over the firing of a select group of U.S. attorneys was building two weeks ago, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department tried to persuade one of those being removed that Washington was not out to ruin their reputations.

According to new documents released Monday, Deputy Atty. Gen. Paul J. McNulty told Margaret M. Chiara of Grand Rapids, Mich., that “our only choice is to continue to be truthful about the entire matter,” and in an e-mail sought to explain the official Bush administration position that the eight federal prosecutors were being let go for performance reasons.

“The word ‘performance’ obviously has not set well with you and your colleagues,” McNulty conceded. “By that word we only meant to convey that there were issues about policy, priorities and management/leadership that we felt were important to the department’s effectiveness.”

Chiara was complaining vigorously that she was not being given a reasonable answer for her termination. McNulty’s attempts to calm the prosecutor came as the other U.S. attorneys were about to testify before Senate and House committees that they were not given sound reasons for their dismissals.

Chiara’s complaints and McNulty’s e-mail were found in more than 3,000 pages of new documents delivered late Monday night by the Justice Department to congressional panels, about 1,000 of which were made public. The remaining pages are expected to be made public today.

The documents show that Justice Department officials have been scrambling over the last two months to control the amount of damaging fallout and negative publicity from the widening scandal, even lamenting at one point that “we just want the stories to die.”

The AG replacement list includes:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
Larry D. Thompson, deputy attorney general under John Ashcroft
Theodore B. Olson, solicitor general under Ashcroft.
John C. Danforth, former ambassador to the United Nations and onetime Republican senator from Missouri
Sen. Fred Thompson

President Bush says he stands behind Gonzales. For now.

Tom Delay weighs in:

Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday the scandal “is just a taste of what’s goingt to be like for the next two years.”

“And the Bush amdinistration sort of showed their weakenss when they got rid of Don Rumseld,” the Texan said on NBC’s “Today” show. “… This is a made up scandal. There is no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever. … They ought to be fighting back.”

I’m not so sure. And as I said yesterday, I won’t be sad to see Alberto Gonzales go.


The fate of Alberto Gonzales
Debacle at DOJ

Posted in: Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson now blogging for Townhall

May 15, 2008 03:01 PM by See-Dubya

Oh, baby. Plus more Dem bristling about appeasement.

WSJ laments "Immigrant Scapegoats"

April 24, 2008 03:23 PM by See-Dubya

Straw man savagely thrashed; film at eleven.

Fred Thompson says fall in line

February 9, 2008 08:04 AM by Michelle Malkin

No puede. Not yet.

Fred Thompson withdraws

January 22, 2008 02:30 PM by Michelle Malkin

Too little, too late.

Categories: Fred Thompson