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Please let me know if this has been posted before and I will delete.

OK I've been listening to Ed Schultz roll over for right wing propaganda in the last 20 minutes of his program and listening the news reports repeating the right wings claim that "Clinton fired 93 attorneys"

By now, we all know the US attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president and that it is traditional for a president to appoint new US Attorneys at the beginning of the term. But no one is mentioning Bush's dismissals.

It took me about 3 minutes to find this announcement by the administration in 2001.

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2001



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Bush and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for most of the 93 United States Attorneys.

Attorney General Ashcroft said, "We are committed to making this an orderly transition to ensure effective, professional law enforcement that reflects the President 's priorities."

In January of this year, nearly all presidential appointees from the previous administration offered their resignations. Two Justice Department exceptions were the United States Attorneys and United States Marshals.

Prior to the beginning of this transition process, nearly one-third of the United States Attorneys had already submitted their resignations. The White House and the Department of Justice have begun to schedule transition dates for most of the remaining United States Attorneys to occur prior to June of this year. President Bush will make announcements regarding his nominations to the Senate of new United States Attorneys as that information becomes available. Pending confirmation of the President's nominees, the Attorney General will make appointments of Interim United States Attorneys for a period of 120 days (28USC546). Upon the expiration of that appointment, the authority rests with the United States District Court (28USC546(d)).

Originally posted to GP on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 05:31 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It really isn't news that an incoming... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GP, billlaurelMD, BachFan, slksfca, Nimbus

    President replaced USAs or any of several thousand other "will and pleasure" positions throughout the federal bureaucracy.  

    What gives this story legs is that there was by all accounts political interference in the administration of justice, and, deliciously, the fact that team-Bush used a Patriot Act provision to skirt the Senate. Senators hate being skirted.

  •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarCat, BachFan, blueness

    But the current attack on the news and the radio is that Bill Clinton did something that no other president has.

    That is why I highlighted the statement

    "Continuing the practice of new administrations, President Bush and the Department of Justice have begun the transition process for most of the 93 United States Attorneys." in the DOJ memo of 2001.

    There are many ways that conduct to seeming honour, and some of them very dirty ones. John Webster The Duchess of Malfi Act V Scene II

    by GP on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 05:51:04 PM PDT

  •  Here's a useful link... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exmearden, blueness


    Some selections:

    At the beginning of each presidential term, it is traditional for anyone occupying a "political office" to turn in a signed letter of resignation. A political office is generally thought of as one where a person "serves at the pleasure of the President."

    If there is a new President from a different party, it is expected that all of the resignations would be accepted. The attorneys are then replaced by political appointees from the new President's party.  For example, President Clinton dismissed all 93 US attorneys when he came to office in 1993, and shortly after President George W. Bush took office in 2001, he received the resignations from 91 of 93 sitting U.S. attorneys.

    In contrast to the 2006 dismissal event, prior administrations typically "cleaned house" at the outset of the presidential term; they very rarely terminated attorneys, whom they had previously appointed, for political reasons.

    Kyle Sampson noted in a January 9, 2006 email to Harriet Miers: "In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton did not seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision."

    The Congressional Research Service, a taxpayer-funded service provided to members of Congress, investigated the precedent of US Attorneys who have not served their full four-year terms from 1981 through 2006. The investigation found that, over the 25-year period studied, only five attorneys had been dismissed.

  •  I've been sporadically researching this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as well.

    One of subtexts of this debacle may lie in the stories of other US Attorneys who have resigned since their 2001 appointment by the Bush Administration. There have been several, scattered like crumbs throughout the Bush years.

    Of course, resignation may occur for many reasons - attorneys moving on to take judgeships, family reasons, burn-out. But...

    My guess is that I'll find a few who resigned after taking heat from performing investigations that were considered Republican-unfriendly by this administration.
    It may be hard to connect the dots on this, but I suspect that looking at additional US Attorney resignations between 2002 and 2006 along with their most recent cases pursued prior to resignation may add fodder to the "political nature" of the December firings.

    It would be interesting if Congress had the impetus to look further back into the past on this one and subpoena earlier resignees who may have been pushed out.

    How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives. - Annie Dillard
    Visit me at exme arden

    by exmearden on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 06:40:11 PM PDT

  •  key distinctions (0+ / 0-)

    It is commonplace and ethical for a new president to install his own DAs.  Clinton did it in 93, Bush in 01 and both instances are acceptable for they are at will employees.

    What Bush did with the firing of the Prosecutorgate Eight is that each member was fired not at will but for illegal reasons such as obstruction of justice, criminal conspiracy, etc...

  •  Big difference.. (0+ / 0-)

    All presidents do change of guards of some positions at beginning of term..What bush did ,was attorneys investigating republican corruption ,were replaced. and that you cannot do..

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