Why the US Attorney scandal is a big deal

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Let’s begin with a look at what Kevin Drum said:

They’ve now had nearly two months to come up with a simple, clear, understandable explanation for why they chose those eight to fire but not the others. So what is it? And why has it taken such an interminable amount of internal chaos to come up with something?

People aren’t stupid. If there were a simple, innocent explanation we would have heard it in January. The fact that the president of the United States held a press conference eight weeks after this issue first hit the media and still didn’t have a plausible story to tell suggests pretty strongly that there is no plausible story to tell.

Steve Benen adds this over at Carpetbagger Report, hitting the nail on the head:

It’s an important point about this scandal, which is probably helping drive the media’s interest. The White House, and its vaunted communications office, has had eight weeks to come up with a plausible explanation. What have we heard? The Bush gang said a purge like this is normal and routine. It wasn’t. They said Clinton did the same thing. He didn’t. They said the U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, which is true, but doesn’t offer any substantive explanation why these specific U.S. Attorneys had to go.

They couldn’t decide whether (and which) prosecutors were actually bad at their jobs. They can’t explain why Justice Department officials lied to Congress. They can’t explain why White House officials can’t testify under oath. They can’t explain what role the president had in the firings. They can’t explain what role the Attorney General had in the firings. They can’t explain the meaning of the phrase “loyal Bushies.” They can’t explain the 18-day document gap. They can’t explain why they can’t explain.

This scandal has been emblematic of the entire Bush years. That’s why this is so important. The past two months (and actual oversight by a Democrat-controlled Congress) have given us a view into the inner workings of Bush Co., and shown the public and the media just how hard the administration will try to snooker them. We also know the lengths Republicans will go to advance their political agenda, including interference in a criminal investigation.

And poor Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson just happen to be stuck smack dab in the middle of the scandal. Wilson, who narrowly won re-election in November, is already a target of the DCCC:

October, 2006.

A phone call is made … a scandal begins.

According to testimony from the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Congresswoman Heather Wilson called U.S. Attorney David Iglesias and pressured him concerning a federal corruption investigation.

Listen to U.S. Attorney Igelsias’ testimony before the Committee…

“I received a call from Heather Wilson.” “She said ‘what can you tell me about sealed indictments.’ The second she said any questions about sealed indictments, red flags went up in my head, because as you know, we cannot talk about indictments until they’re made public, in general, we specifically cannot talk about a sealed indictment.”

Serious questions remain about Heather Wilson and violation of Congressional ethics rules.

It’s time for Heather Wilson to release her phone records and come clean.

It’s time for Heather Wilson to tell the full truth.

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