Fired US Attorneys: Poor Performance or Politics?

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The Bush Justice Department fired eight US Attorneys last December without telling them why.  Yesterday, six testified before Congress, and two said they'd been approached by Republicans in Congress about cases that might have embarrassed Democrats. Were they fired for political reasons, as Democrats claim, or is this "an overblown personnel matter" as insisted today in USA Today by Alberto Gonzales? In the editorial, the Attorney General concedes that his failure to notify them why they were asked to resign led to "wild and inaccurate speculation" about his motives.  Who are the US Attorneys and how much power do they have in the federal justice system?  We hear from journalists, attorneys, and current and former Justice Department officials.




Warren Olney