Clay Bennett on the Justice Department and Purgegate:
The conflict between documents released this week and previous administration statements is quickly becoming the central issue for lawmakers who are angry about the way Gonzales and his aides handled the coordinated firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.
Democrats and Republicans are demanding to know whether Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and other Justice officials misled them in sworn testimony over the past two months. Yesterday, Republican Sen. John E. Sununu (N.H.) joined a handful of Democrats in calling on President Bush to fire his attorney general and longtime friend.
Gonzales has declined to address the apparent contradictions in detail, saying only that he was unaware of the specifics of the plan that Sampson was orchestrating.
The inconsistencies between Justice’s positions and the documents are numerous.
Who wants to guess how many days remain before Gonzales decides his presence at Justice is becoming an obstacle to the fulfillment of President Bush’s important law enforcement policy objectives?