The Justice Department’s Plan of Deceit

In a must-read, The Washington Post details the efforts of the Justice Department – specifically Gonzales, McNulty and Sampson – to deceive Congress.

Here’s the opening ‘graphs:

In testimony on Jan. 18, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department had no intention of avoiding Senate input on the hiring of U.S. attorneys.

Just a month earlier, D. Kyle Sampson, who was then Gonzales’s chief of staff, laid out a plan to do just that. In an e-mail, he detailed a strategy for evading Arkansas Democrats in installing Tim Griffin, a former GOP operative and protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, as the U.S. attorney in Little Rock.

We should gum this to death,” Sampson wrote to a White House aide on Dec. 19. “[A]sk the senators to give Tim a chance . . . then we can tell them we’ll look for other candidates, ask them for recommendations, evaluate the recommendations, interview their candidates, and otherwise run out the clock. All of this should be done in ‘good faith,’ of course.”

At a minimum, resignations should be coming; more appropriately, a Special Prosecutor should be appointed.

UPDATE: While I was typing this post, a report broke that the Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas of White House personnel involved in the purge. Remember last week when their voluntary participation – as part of a grand resolution of the problem by Arlen Specter – was being heralded in the media. Apparently that was just another White House tactic to “gum” the issue, as Kyle Sampson would say.

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