In my opinion, the most important (and alarming) part of the story is where the authority to do this derives from: The USA Patriot Act. How exactly does giving Bush the power to replace inconvenient prosecutors protect us from terror? Oh, wait, it doesn't. It just protects him and his cronies from prosecution. Talk about politicizing terror.
The Bush administration's controversial firing of eight US attorneys sets up a major clash between the White House and the new Congress, as Democrats step up efforts to rein in new presidential powers.
At issue is whether the Justice Department's decision to replace these top federal prosecutors was a political purge and, if so, what Congress can do about it.
As a start, lawmakers are revisiting a last-minute provision added to last year's reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act at the request of the Justice Department. It gives the president authority to replace a US attorney without going back to the Senate for confirmation. At the time, no lawmaker noticed. But dramatic testimony Tuesday from fired attorneys, who appeared only after Congress began issuing subpoenas, is fueling a push to strike the provision. Read more...