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.The fundamental point is this:
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."
The president fired US attorneys who were Senate approved,That “little known line” in the Patriot Act didn’t get there by accident.
so that he could replace them with ones who weren’t.
(The emails are online at the judiciary committee site and cross-posted at the NYT.)