Given President Bush's role in the dismissal of David Iglesias--over the reported objection of Attorney General Gonzales--it's worth going back over what the President and those who speak on his behalf have said publicly since this scandal broke. TPM Reader CB gets us started off with some choice quotes.
President Bush, at a press conference in Mexico, March 14, 2007:
I specifically remember one time I went up to the Senate and senators were talking about the U.S. attorneys. I don't remember specific names being mentioned, but I did say to Al last year -- you're right, last fall -- I said, have you heard complaints about AGs, I have -- I mean, U.S. attorneys, excuse me -- and he said, I have. But I never brought up a specific case nor gave him specific instructions.
President Bush, in his weekly radio address, on March 24, 2007:
In recent months, the Justice Department determined that new leadership in several of these positions would better serve the country. I strongly support the Attorney General in this decision.
Dan Bartlett, in a press briefing in Mexico, on March 13, 2007:
Particularly, as you can imagine, at the White House, when it comes to complaints, we receive a lot of complaints, whether it be from members of Congress, state leaders, local leaders. Oftentimes that is the job description of a White House employee, is to field complaints. That is not limited to U.S. attorneys. And over the course of several years we have received complaints about U.S. attorneys, particularly when it comes to election fraud cases -- not just New Mexico, but also Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
That information, it's incumbent upon us to share with the relevant Cabinet officers, incumbent upon the President to do that, as well. The President did that briefly, in a conversation he had with the Attorney General in October of 2006, in which, in a wide-ranging conversation on a lot of different issues, this briefly came up and the President said, I've been hearing about this election fraud matters from members of Congress, want to make sure you're on top of that, as well. There was no directive given, as far as telling him to fire anybody or anything like that. That would be under the prerogative of the Justice Department to take a look at those issues, as they obviously were doing.
So I know a lot of people want to make more out of it than that, but that is exactly what happened.
If you have other gems from the public record, please send them along, including links to the source of the quotes.
Update: And still more:
Dana Perino, on March 13, 2007, according to the AP:
"At no time did any White House officials, including the president, direct the Department of Justice to take specific action against any individual U.S. attorney."