The Overblown Personnel Matter started in the White House. Drunk with victory after the 2004 elections, Harriet Miers proposed to fire all the U.S. Attorneys. Bush talked to Gonzales about why the U.S. Attorneys weren’t prosecuting “voter fraud” (i.e., voting by Democrats). And yes, the fact that the Patriot Act re-authorization allowed the White House to put its own stooges in as replacements, without having to consult with the Senators from the states in question, was crucial.
Lots of senior people, including the Attorney General, have already stated the opposite in Congressional testimony. The Post reports: “Administration officials say they are braced for a new round of criticism today from lawmakers who may feel misled by recent testimony from Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and William E. Moschella, principal associate deputy attorney general.” Ya think?
Schumer is already threatening to subpoena Rove. And they’ve dumped Kyle Sampson, former White House employee and then Gonzales’s chief of staff, hoping to pin the blame for the false testimony on him. I don’t think it will wash. The rapidly changing stories here remind me of Watergate (that was the Third-Rate Burglary, if you’ve forgotten).
Footnote How perfect is it that the firings were done on Pearl Harbor Day, and that the people being fired weren’t told in advance? Sometimes I think the Bushoids are completely humorless; other times I wonder if they have a sly sense of humor and are laughing at all the suckers.