I yield the floor to TPM Reader JD
This isn't a comment about what has been found in the document dump of last night, but about what HASN'T been found. (Note: my question/comment is inspired by this 3/16 interview of [U.S. Attorney] Bud Cummins).
If the USA's had been forced to resign for performance related reasons, wouldn't you expect to see a huge paper trail of the performance review process itself? Take the case of [U.S. Attorney for Western Michigan Margaret] Chiara. If the problem was office management/morale, I would expect the following in the record:
1) Some document sent to the someone in the AG's office, saying, "Hey, I've been hearing there are some morale/managerial problems in Chiara's office.";
2) A formal letter to Chiara saying, "We would like to review your management of the office. We'll be sending officials out to your district to discuss."
3) A report to the DAG saying, "We went out to her office and, in fact, we believe there are managerial problems. Chiara offered to takes steps A, B & C to correct. Will review in 6 months.";
4) Then, 6 months later, there would be another report saying, "It's been six months since the last review. Nothing's changed. It may be time to consider removing her.";
5) A follow-up from the DAG saying, "Nope, her time is up. We'll recommend her removal and replacement to the AG.";
6) Then a series of letters/emails between offices about "Should we remove her?" and "Yes, we should remove her. Set it up." and "Here's how and why we're removing her.";
7) Finally, a series of documents setting up her formal removal, communicating that to the AG and the WH.
But, there's none of that. You'd think if such documents existed, they'd be definitive and the first set of docs the Justice Department would release. If the attorneys in the AG's office are anything like the private attorneys I know, they wouldn't do anything as significant as forcing the resignation of any single USA, without first creating a paper trail a mile long. Should be 1000 pages of docs for each USA removal, right?
Everybody seems to be looking for a smoking gun, but the real story is that the evidence we've been given is of a gun that's never been fired.
As I wrote yesterday
, the Justice Department actually brainstormed on the justifications for the firings after