Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the department of injustice show

We'd heard the stories before about Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card trying to get then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to legitimize a White House eavesdropping plan -- while Ashcroft was in the hospital, in serious condition. But former Justice #2 Jim Comey's account of that March 2004 evening yesterday was gripping.

After Ashcroft, with Comey at his side, refused to concede the point (one of the few positive things Ashcroft has done) Gonzales and Card tried to browbeat Comey into a late-night White House meeting. But Comey wisely took a witness (then Solicitor-General Ted Olson) and the thuggery failed.

As the Post noted in an editorial, this is yet ANOTHER example of the de facto Bush Administration's proclivity to ignore its own lawyers. Legal advice to the Bushies is only good advice if it matches squarely with their political desires. The sinister Republican campaign against (non-existent) voter fraud is another example, this time their own appointed US attorneys getting the axe for being insufficiently enthusiastic in pursuing these bogus charges. As Harold Meyerson notes today, it's amazing there is anybody left working at Justice.

I hope the professionals there DO stick around. This Administration has only 20 months left, and the professional lawyers will be needed to help root out the underqualified ideologues that Rove and Company are trying to plant there.

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