March 9, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Eight U.S. prosecutors are fired

Eight U.S. attorneys were abruptly dismissed in late December, even though all but one of them had a very solid performance record. Why the mass firings? The Justice Department says it was because they were not following Bush administration guidelines on prosecution priorities. According to the Washington Post, several of the attorneys said they had faced heavy pressure from above, and the House and Senate committees are issuing subpoenas to get to the bottom of this. Most of the attorneys are Republicans, and some of them were investigating alleged corruption by (mostly) Republican members of Congress, including Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Even if their firings were not punitive in nature, it still reflects poorly on Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who is a close personal associate of President Bush. Don Surber notes that until now the Bush administration has been very good at cracking down on corporate corruption (unlike Clinton), but says that Gonzalez should be fired for this "ham-fisted firing." Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan, who no doubt concurs.