The Justice Department has "refused to cooperate" with a congressional analysis of whether the administration's recent firing of U.S. attorneys is unprecedented, according to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI).
Conyers and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) requested the analysis from the Congressional Research Service to see whether prior administrations had done anything like fire seven United States attorneys abruptly and without stated justification as the administration did in December.
But because "the Administration has refused to cooperate with CRS in their examination," Conyers office says in a press release, the CRS analysis is incomplete. Nevertheless, CRS issued an interim analysis to Conyers and Sanchez, which you can read here
In the report, the analyst writes that despite contacting the DoJ for information needed to perform his study a month ago, he's still waiting
In order to determine how many U.S. attorneys had served less than four years with tenure uninterrupted by a change in presidential administration, CRS began by contacting the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), which serves as the liaison between U.S. attorneys and the Department of Justice. CRS first contacted the EOUSA January 24, 2007, to seek records on the appointment and termination dates for U.S. attorneys. As of February 20, 2007, EOUSA had not provided the requested data.
The analyst doesn't say explicitly in his report that the Justice Department has refused to cooperate, and efforts to reach him were unsuccessful. I also placed a call to the Justice Department, to see if there's an explanation for the delay, but my call was not immediately returned.
The initial results of the analysis, which, again, is incomplete, show that since 1981 only three U.S. attorneys were dismissed without apparent cause during the first four years of their terms, making the administration's recent purge unprecedented.