Some excellent commentary from Josh Marshall about today’s hearings into the firing of US Attorneys by the Bush people at the Department of Justice:
Let’s be clear. The DOJ needn’t establish a lengthy or any paper trail to justify firing a US Attorney. Maybe they didn’t like the way she prosecuted gun crimes. Or maybe her bosses at Main Justice just didn’t like how she went about her job. Maybe they just plain didn’t like her. That’s fine. And while it would be irregular to fire a US Attorney in the middle of a president’s term for no evident wrongdoing, it would not in itself be improper. None of the USAs, as they’re called, are irreplaceable. And they do serve at the president’s pleasure.
The issue here is different. There is a clear and growing body of evidence that at least three of these firees were canned for not allowing politics to dictate their prosecution of political corruption cases. Or, to put it more bluntly, for not indicting enough Democrats or indicting too many Republicans. Which is to say they were fired for not perverting justice.
In the face of that evidence the administration has come up with a series of changing and often contradicatory alternative explanations, which range from the frivolous to the ridiculous.
The administration isn’t at war with the fired attorneys or Congress. They’re at war with the obvious.