Saturday, March 14, 2009

 

Firing U.S. Attorneys

One aspect of the Clinton scandals was that Clinton fired all the US Attorneys immediately upon coming to office, rather than waiting until he had nominated new people to replace the Bush appointees. This was widely thought to have been to aimed at replacing the Arkansas district attorney who was a threat to him personally, but who couldn't have been fired as a single case without looking even worse. I just learned something new: the Clinton transition team lied to the Bush Administration about their intentions. Probably that was so the district attorneys couldn't speed up investigations or take papers away with them. See The Washington Post:

Advisers to Obama say they have learned from past mistakes, including Clinton's decision to require all U.S. attorneys to submit their resignations.

Critics said that move threw law enforcement efforts into disarray. And Richard Cullen, who was a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia under President George H.W. Bush, said that crossed signals during the Clinton transition left some prosecutors on the street unexpectedly.

"We just got a call one day: Resign right away," said Cullen, now chairman of the law firm McGuire Woods. "That was at odds with what the Clinton transition people told the Bush transition people. Some people didn't have jobs to go back to, and had families to feed."

Of course, one of the oddities of liberals is how outraged they were when Bush fired a handful of U.S. attorneys later on without giving any reason.

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