Congressional Democrats are in full cry over the news this week that the Administration's decision to fire eight U.S. Attorneys originated from--gasp--the White House. Senator Hillary Clinton joined the fun yesterday, blaming President Bush for "the politicization of our prosecutorial system." Oh, my.
As it happens, Mrs. Clinton is just the Senator to walk point on this issue of dismissing U.S. attorneys because she has direct personal experience. In any Congressional probe of the matter, we'd suggest she call herself as the first witness--and bring along Webster Hubbell as her chief counsel.
As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.
Can you say “double standard”? Sure you can.
US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the Attorney General and, ultimately, the President.
While some of the released US Attorneys have said that their firings were political in nature, it might be said that at least one was, and for good reason.
Take sacked U.S. Attorney John McKay from Washington state. In 2004, the Governor's race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129 votes on a third recount. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other media outlets reported, some of the "voters" were deceased, others were registered in storage-rental facilities, and still others were convicted felons. More than 100 ballots were "discovered" in a Seattle warehouse. None of this constitutes proof that the election was stolen. But it should have been enough to prompt Mr. McKay, a Democrat, to investigate, something he declined to do, apparently on grounds that he had better things to do.
I'd say that's reason enough.