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June 28, 2007

It's Official: White House Ordered Firings of U.S. Attorneys

In attempting to fend off congressional subpoenas and use executive privilege as the hammer,  Nixon/Bush lawyer Fred Fielding unintentionally lets the cat out of the bag:

Today, White House counsel Fred Fielding released a letter informing Congress that President Bush will assert executive privilege over White House documents relating to the firing of U.S. attorneys. Fielding attached a legal memorandum written by Solicitor General Paul Clement, laying out the legal basis for the executive privilege claim.

Clement reviewed the documents that the Congress subpoenaed. In his letter, Clement reveals what investigators have suspected from the very beginning — that the White House was intimately involved in the attorney scandal. Upon examination of the White House documents, Clement writes:

Among other things, these communications discuss the wisdom of such a proposal, specific U.S. Attorneys who could be removed, potential replacement candidates, and possible responses to congressional and media inquiries about the dismissals.


Posted by shoephone on June 28, 2007 at 12:57 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


shoe - I don't think the problem is so much that the "White House" ws involved, but when the president got involved - since the actual firing is his sole prerogative. Was it after the fact? Was it already a done deal?

I think we need some clarification as to who is being referred to when the term "White House" is used - is it Bush, is it Rove and Miers?

And a major question, I think, is - sorry to say - what did the president know and when did he know it?

So, in my mind, there are two areas at issue - the reason for the firings, and when the president signed off on them. Given the lengths to which the president is going to protect against further disclosure of information, I suspect that the e-mails and memos would reveal that the reasons were improper, and that Bush only signed off after the deed had been done.

Posted by: Anne | Jun 28, 2007 1:51:35 PM

Anne notes:

"And a major question, I think, is - sorry to say - what did the president know and when did he know it?"

Sorry to say, indeed. Because, if we've learned anything at all in these last umpteen years, we've learned that it is perfectly and completely plausible to suggest that *this* president NEVER knows any of it. Not even when he signs off on it.

Posted by: Neal Traven | Jun 28, 2007 2:11:46 PM

I wondered where you went off to. Now I know.
Beings as I live in Washington, I will bookmark this and come visit.I found you from Steve Audio's site, he has nominated you for a Thinkers Award.Drop by my website and leave me a note.
Best wishes,

Posted by: Bustednuckles | Jun 28, 2007 3:45:52 PM

This would all be mildly amusing if it were not so vexatious...A great nation deliberately run into the rocks as a proof of ideological superiority, accomplished by power-mad malfeasants who would find operating a pay toilet while equipped with two rolls of three-ply and a full changepurse a daunting challenge to their personal resources.

Posted by: darkblack | Jun 28, 2007 5:30:25 PM

db - that gets MY award for best comment of the month. If they were only criminals it would be just Democrats who revile them. But because of the unparalleled ineptitude of this gang, they are being cannabalized from within. I wish I could say it gave me pleasure to witness, but after six years of overwhelming malfeasance in the names of the American people, I just keep beating the walls in fury and frustration.

Hi Busted!

Anne and Neal - I think it all started with Rove, was his idea to begin with and was planned and operated from his OPA inside the White House. Regarding the POTUS, we can ask "what did he know and when did he know it?" but Bush is not a paranoid detail-oriented person like Nixon was. The moniker "Bush's brain" fits Rove like a glove, in which case, Bush only needed to sign off on the plan. But since the White House encomapasses much more than just the POTUS, their involvement in the USAs scandal runs deep and implicates the man at the top nevertheless.

And I still want to see a subpoena for Glynda Becker.

Posted by: shoephone | Jun 28, 2007 6:20:23 PM

I hope the next Dem attorney general will be able to take out the trash from the career positions that Monigoo filled. Maybe put them to work investigating Republicans, and then fire them for incompetence.

Hey Busted and DB!

Posted by: op99 | Jun 28, 2007 6:50:14 PM

I think Fielding and Clement just confirmed the obvious. I suspected that the White House was the lead on this decision once Harriet Miers' name cropped up in the first memos on the subject. I knew the White House was in the lead once the circular finger pointing by Goodling, McNulty, and Sampson happened in front of Congress, and word of Gonzalez' memo washing his hands of responsibility in the matter surfaced. I think we can assume that Bush went along with it because no one's been fired. We still don't know who decided to do it or why.

Still, it's nice that folks in our governmnt acknowledge the truth once in a while.

Posted by: Cujo359 | Jun 28, 2007 9:33:41 PM

Hello, insightful ol' pals, nice to see youse again!

Did y'all catch Bush after the immigration bill went down? Face gray as his hair, literally gasping, mumbling hogwash, hating every minute -- he looked haunted and done-for, incapable of hiding from it any longer so not even trying. All the incompetence and lies have finally hollowed out this whole presidency -- as you say, shoe, from within.

Given who they are, it could never have gone otherwise. Given who they are, it's time they enter agony.

Posted by: lotus | Jun 29, 2007 1:45:36 AM

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