The Coup at DOJ Continues

By Erick Posted in | Comments (11) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Over the weekend I put up this post about a coup at the Department of Justice against Alberto Gonzales.

The Washington Prowler is hearing the same thing, particularly about Deputy AG McNulty leaking damaging information against his boss.

[T]he White House and the DOJ suspect that the staff of Deputy Attorney General McNulty has been the most active, anti-Gonzales leakers in the past week.

"McNulty's crew has been pretty confident that they aren't going to get taken down in this whole mess. They have been acting downright cocky with me," says a reporter who works out of the Justice Department.

The White House has complained to the Justice Department about the release of documents and e-mails it has not seen or been made aware of. "Reporters are asking about things we've never seen," says another White House source. "It's just drip, drip, drip, and it's clearly an organized leaking effort."

As I mentioned on Saturday, there are career Democrats the White House should have gacked, but failed to do so. Now they have to deal with both an ambitious Deputy AG and career Democrats working in concert to gack Gonzales and, in the process, the White House is getting hit hard.

A Coup At The Department of JusticeComments (13) »
The Coup at DOJ Continues 11 Comments (0 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

The White House deserves as much. They should have cleaned house when they came in. They had a similar problem at CIA. The Bushies seem to like careerists in the abscense of close personal friends. Our State and Justice Departments as well as a whole host of others needs a good thorough disinfection.

I'll no doubt chalk this up to my general ignorance of internal phenomenon inside political entities, but what is typical of the relationship between the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General?

I would have assumed they necessarily involve working closely together with one another, the latter serving at the bequest of the former. And such working relationship would therefore generally preclude the AG from being blindsided by a nefarious plot being undertaken by not only the DAG but (most of) the DAG's staff as well? I mean, wouldn't their working relationship have provided the AG enough insight into the DAG's character and intent to have some inkling of what might happen?

Or is the relationship one where they really only meet for photo-ops, but otherwise work very independantly, therefore making it easy to hoodwink the AG into believing his deputy was sincere but in reality...

Does the President appoint the DAG, and if so, does the AG have any input into that appointment? Or does the AG make a DAG recommendation that the President considers and forwards on if he agrees?

The offices work fairly close together. There is a good bit of correspondence between the AG and DAG, and a lot more between their staffs. My understanding is that McNulty focuses on criminal justice issues and does a lot of work with the FBI, and Gonzales focuses on setting the policy of the department. When the AG is away the DAG steps in, but more for administrative duties than policy. McNulty has always had a reputation as being a very honest and straightforward guy, and I have never heard of anyone on either side of the aisle question his character before. He was very involved with the Clinton impeachment so you would think Democrats would hate him and do everything possible to attack his nomination, but he received support from several Democrats when he was confirmed. Because he has been on the Hill so long and has always been considered a man of great character and integrity I find the accusations being made against him very hard to believe.

As to your 2nd q: The DAG is a presidential appointment, and McNulty was recommended for the job by Gonzales. My understanding is that they got to know each other when Gonzales was at the White House and McNulty was a USA. President Bush did nominate someone else before McNulty who couldnt get confirmed but I cant remember the nominee's name.

I appreciate your insight, thank you!

And now they have a whole host of reasons.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

what are they waiting for? What good can come of their presence?

Let now future R President make the same mistake again. You want to get along with Democrats it's easy (we win, they lose).

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

now = no

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

you didn't respond to the comment in the last thread that observed, "McNulty is not in line to be the AG. If Gonzales goes, he is likely to go with. McNulty knows this."

Neither did you explain how it's even conceivable that McNulty could expect to be promoted because of the firing of his boss over actions that he (McN.) carried out himself. If he's blaming others for the whole firings plan, the simple explanation is that he's trying to mitigate his own false testimony to Congress, and (like Sampson) avoid being scapegoated.

Looks like you and the Prowler are getting the same line from some of the same sources. None of it shows that McNulty (let alone those Democrats you still haven't named) is really the source of all the trouble. It just shows that someone in the White House is desperate, or paranoid, or both.

It is sad enough that Democrats in Congress and even some Republicans are engaging in this witch hunt within the DOJ, why are conservative blogs adding to the problem? There was absolutely nothing wrong with the removal of any of the USA's in question. They served at the pleasure of the president, and they knew that when they took the job. I can understand why the Dems in Congress want to use the situation for political gain, but I dont see why you are adding to the pile. Please let it go.

And if you insist on attacking a man who has given most of his life to the GOP, have the decency to name his accusers. I am so tired of the media using anonymous sources to attack peoples character. I used to think conservatives were above that.

Conservatives questioned Gonzalez's ideology before, which is one of the reasons he wasn't nominated for SCOTUS either go-round.

Also, the big problem is w/ his testimony. He went to the Hill and said it wasn't for politics, only for performance. The folks had good performance records and it's looking more likely politics were involved. That's fine. Fire any political appointee for political reasons whenever it's politically beneficial. Don't, however, say you didn't do that.

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