Pick an Angle, Any Angle, on the U.S. Attorney Mess
It's a Friday before a holiday weekend and I would much rather be writing about this happy news than about the U.S. Attorney scandal. But duty calls.* On the Gonzales Watch, there are many angles swirling around today. To wit:
1) The president is still standing by his man; 2) There are larger constitutional issues implicated by the scandal; 3) Monica Goodling's testimony was a bust; 4) Monica Goodling's testimony was rich with new information; 5) The Alberto Gonzales "no confidence" vote is planned for June; 6) Gonzales himself is just a lackey for the "Cheney White House;" 7) The Bush administration is infused with evangelicals like Goodling.
But my favorite U.S. attorney story of the day -- the one I feel is most important -- comes from the Los Angeles Times. Richard B. Schmitt writes in today's paper: "The Justice Department has broadened an internal investigation examining whether aides to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales improperly took into account political considerations in hiring department employees, officials familiar with the investigation said Thursday. The expanded investigation, conducted by the department's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, follows testimony Wednesday by former Gonzales aide Monica M. Goodling. She told a House committee that she considered party affiliation in screening applicants to become immigration judges. The Justice Department also announced Thursday that it could find no record to support claims by Goodling in her testimony that taking politics into account in filling positions on the immigration bench had been approved by other department officials."
Lots of meat there. And lots of reason to believe that this story won't be going away any time soon.
*I thought about writing about this story -- the fact that the United States Supreme Court this past week codified a recent trend among trial judges to force plaintiffs to allege more details in their complaints or risk having their cases dismissed. I also thought about focusing today on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and his sentencing recommendations, which are due today. I was going to write about my CBS News colleague Kimberly Dozier and the fact that it already has been one year since she was attacked in Irag. I was even going to write about the brilliant proposals offered up this month in Trot magazine to revolutionize harness racing in Canada (and perhaps the United States).
But in the end, I picked the U.S. attorney scandal -- again. The Republicans hope the scandal soon fades into the background or goes away altogether. They can stand in line behind me for that proposition.
Have a safe, happy and fun holiday weekend.
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