POLITICIZING THE U.S. ATTORNEYS?
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is transforming the ranks of the nationâ€™s top federal prosecutors by firing some and appointing conservative loyalists from the Bush administrationâ€™s inner circle who critics say are unlikely to buck Washington.
The newly appointed U.S. attorneys all have impressive legal credentials, but most of them have few, if any, ties to the communities they’ve been appointed to serve, and some have had little experience as prosecutors.
Hmm. But doesn’t that pale beside this?
One of President Clintonâ€™s very first official acts upon taking office in 1993 was to fire every United States attorney then serving â€” except one, Michael Chertoff, now Homeland Security secretary but then U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, who was kept on only because a powerful New Jersey Democrat, Sen. Bill Bradley, specifically requested his retention.
Were the attorneys Clinton fired guilty of misconduct or incompetence? No. As a class they were able (and, it goes without saying, well-connected). Did he shove them aside to thwart corruption investigations into his own party? No. It was just politics, plain and simple.
That’s because it’s a political office.