The Post has still


The Post has still more on the growing list of US Attorneys who at one time or another appeared on the DOJ firing list. The number is now up to 26 or higher, according to sources consulted by the Post. And to add further confusion we’re now hearing about some folks who are such administration loyalists that they’re actually being questioned as playing a role in the firings rather than being potential firees.

You can see the article here.

This puts me in the mind of an email I got a couple months ago from a friend who I’d call a seasoned Washington type.

It seems plausble to me that Harriet would get the idea in her head, thinking–or having been told–that she find an artful way of getting rid of PF [i.e., Patrick Fitzgerald].

And maybe that idea of hers was shot down as too “Saturday Night Massacre”-y. But it’s in the nature of humans, as well as bureaucracies, for an idea to get rolling and then to gain new fans and constituencies as it rolls along that have little or nothing to do with the original impetus.

So various White House aides and DOJers used the opening created by Miers’ bright idea to advance new agenda items, working, one could imagine with other Republicans. Sorta the Executive Branch equivalent of a Congressional appropriations Christmas tree.

I’ve always thought this guy might be on to something. And along those lines I’d be curious — if it will ever be possible to do — to get that list of 26 or however many firees there are and get it broken down by time. Who got put on when? Who in 2005 and who in 2006?

If you look over the broad scattering of documents thus far released on the Attorney Purge, there’s at least an argument to be made that it unfolds something like this. Someone gets the bright idea, very early in 2005 to can all of the US Attorneys or a lot of them. But for one reason or another the idea gets rejected or just dies a slow bureaucratic death. However it happens, by the end of 2005 the idea’s basically moribund.

But then in early 2006 some problems come up — a rising wave of Republican corruption scandals and declining Republican political fortunes. And the US Attorney Purge idea gets revived — but now with a much more specific focus, with an eye toward the 2006 and 2008 elections. Certain US Attorneys become more of a problem with expanding corruption investigations.

If you’re interested, look at Sampson’s correspondence from early 2006.