What's a corrupt administration to do when a scandal just keeps expanding?
The victim: Missouri U.S. attorney Todd Graves. . .
Graves was replaced by Bradley Schlozman, whose name may be familiar to Salon readers. . . Alberto Gonzales used a loophole passed as part of the reauthorization of the Patriot Act to appoint Schlozman as a U.S. attorney without Senate confirmation.
Why replace Graves with Schlozman? A Justice Department official told Salon that Schlozman was "one of Gonzales' guys," a proponent, as head of the voting rights section of the Civil Rights Division, of the sort of "vote fraud" actions popular with Republicans looking for a way to keep a lid on the Democratic vote.
What's a corrupt administration to do when the news is filled with stories like this one? (Thanks, Cow.)
Congressional investigators are beginning to focus on accusations that a top civil rights official at the Justice Department illegally hired lawyers based on their political affiliations, especially for sensitive voting rights jobs.
Two former department lawyers told McClatchy Newspapers that Bradley Schlozman, a senior civil rights official, told them in early 2005, after spotting mention of their Republican affiliations on their job applications, to delete those references and resubmit their resumes. Both attorneys were hired.
One of them, Ty Clevenger, said: "He wanted to make it look like it was apolitical."
Or stories like this one:A U.S. attorney in Seattle was singled out for dismissal in part because he clashed with senior Justice Department officials over the investigation of a federal prosecutor's murder, and he was recommended for removal 18 months earlier than was previously known, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews. . .
Several officials familiar with the investigation said McKay and other officials in Seattle believed that senior Justice officials were not paying enough attention to the case. Sampson did not cite specifics, saying only that McKay had demanded actions that led to conflicts, congressional aides familiar with his account said.
What do you do when a corrupt administration is running the DOJ like the Stasi? We've seen it before, so this will be pretty anti-climactic (pretty sad, when democratically elected-- sort of-- leaders can no longer surprise you with the sheer pervasiveness of their contempt for democracy, the rule of law, and their own country.
But I'll say it anyway. You switch agit-prop themes from "We're innocent" to "it's time to put this behind us and let the healing begin."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is challenging a House panel to move past the furor over the firings of U.S. attorneys and allow the Justice Department to focus on its mission: fighting crime.
Yep. As Jon Stewart pointed out recently, this administration is apparently incapable of doing anything that is unironic. And as I'm sure you noticed, Gonzo 'n Co. wouldn't be dealing with a House panel if they had just done their jobs!!!
The upside? 40% of the public, including 42% of independents, think it's time to impeach Bush and Cheney.