Obviously, the financial stuff is ruling the media cycle today. Which is too bad, because the Justice Department today released a 356-page report of an internal investigation (internal, as in “these are our own people”) into what drove the firings of several U.S. Attorneys by the Bush Justice Department under ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The answer will shock you!
An internal Justice Department investigation concluded Monday that political pressure drove the firings of several federal prosecutors in a 2006 purge, but said that the refusal of major players at the White House and the department to cooperate in the year-long inquiry produced significant “gaps” in its understanding of the events.
And it’s not over.
At the urging of the investigators, who said they did not have enough evidence to justify recommending criminal charges in the case, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey appointed the Acting United States Attorney in Connecticut, Nora Dannehy, to continue the inquiry and determine whether anyone should be prosecuted.
The report appears to have taken special delight in eviscerating Gonzales. And remember — this is an internal investigation.
The investigation, which uncovered White House e-mail messages not previously made public, offered a blistering critique of Mr. Gonzales’s management of the department. It called Mr. Gonzales “remarkably unengaged” in overseeing an unprecedented personnel review, and said that he “abdicated” his administrative responsibilities, leaving those duties to his chief of staff. It said that the process for deciding which prosecutors were fired was “fundamentally flawed.”
More troubling, the investigation concluded that, despite the denials of the administration at the time of the controversy, political considerations played a part in the firings of at least four of the nine prosecutors.
Another part of the Bush legacy. Is there any serious doubt at this point about his winning the WPE award?