In an appointment that senior Justice Department officials say demonstrates the Obama administration’s commitment to reversing the Bush administration’s politicization of the Department, a U.S. attorney fired by President Bush was reappointed to his old job on Friday.
Daniel Bogden, who was fired in the fall of 2006 by the Bush administration as the U.S. attorney in Nevada, was offered his old job back by President Obama, and was formally nominated on Friday.
Bogden’s confirmation by the Senate is all but assured: He has spent his entire adult life in government service, and as a former U.S. attorney was confirmed by the Senate previously. He was also thoroughly vetted for his new position by the White House Counsel’s office prior to his most recent nomination, even though he was vetted during his first appointment as U.S. attorney by the Bush administration. Moreover, he has the backing of both his home-state senators: Harry Reid, a Democrat, and John Ensign, a Republican. That Reid is a Senate Majority Leader, and that Reid personally suggested to the President that Bogden get his old job back probably, won’t hurt matters.
Ironically, Bogden’s formal reappointment as U.S. attorney comes exactly one day after former Bush political adviser Karl Rove gave sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the firings of Bogden and eight other U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration. A federal grand jury is currently investigating whether Bush administration officials and members of Congress obstructed justice in pressing for one or more of the firings, and also, whether they misled Congress as to why the prosecutors were fired.
Bogden’s firing in the fall of 2006 is referred to by many in the Justice Department as the firing that came about as a result of some sort of Immaculate Conception: For two years, the Justice Department’s two watchdog agencies, its Inspector General and Office of Responsibility, spent 18 months investigating the firings of the nine U.S. attorneys. When it came to Bogden, however, the investigators were not only unable to determine why he was fired, but even who ordered his firing. Every single Justice Department official and Bush administration official interviewed by investigators disclaimed responsibility for his firing. Isn't that typical Bush/Cheney dealings?
Bogden’s appointment to his old job by Obama appears to a historical first: He will be the first U.S. attorney to be appointed and fired by the same President, only to be appointed U.S. attorney again by another President. How strange it all is and I believe as time goes by we'll see a lot more of these "irregularities" pop up, don't you think?