Two thirty-somethings had full control of all hiring at DoJ at the Senior Executive Service level; i.e., above the ordinary civil service but below the Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees. It’s as if some political commissar at DoD got to pick all the Generals and Admirals.

Yes, that’s one way to put it.

Hard to see how Gonzales survives. His failure to mention this in his Senate testimony may or may not constitute a crime; it depends on precisely what questions he was asked. But it certainly represents an intolerable deception.

I wonder what Goodling is going to say in her testimony? It’s inconceivable that she and Sampson really had control over all SES hiring at DoJ; she must have been getting orders directly from the White House. If she seriously implicates Rove, and the Administration sticks by its claim of executive privilege as a bar to his testimony, I’d consider impeaching Rove. No one will be able to argue with a straight face that the President’s advisers are Constitutionally immune from impeachment, or that the power to impeach doesn’t include the power to compel testimony from the subject of the impeachment.

At this point, I think it’s likely that wingnut message discipline is going to break. If Giuliani, for example, continues to defend Gonzales, it’s going to start to cost him.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com