Original DVD cover.
I am sure that by now you recognize Karl Rove, Alberto “Fredo” Gonzales, and Monica “I-Plead-the-Fifth” Goodling (draping herself over the seal of the Justice Department). However, who are those 2 other guys? Well, I am glad you asked! (go on, click keep reading!)
Meet Bill Mercer!
(from TPM Muckraker)
One of the senior Justice Department officials involved in the firings is Bill Mercer, the U.S. Attorney for Montana who pulls double duty as the principal associate deputy attorney general in Washington, D.C. Well, I say double duty, but he really doesn’t seem to spend much time as U.S. attorney: just three days per month, according to congressional testimony.
The chief judge in Mercer’s district has been complaining about his absence for years, at one point berating him during a court hearing: “You have no credibility — none…. Your office is a mess.” And that judge did what he could to get Mercer thrown out, even writing to Alberto Gonzales in 2005 that Mercer was violating federal law by not living in the district of which he was supposedly U.S. attorney.
So what did Mercer do? He changed the law. From The Washington Post:
[In November of 2005] Mercer had a GOP Senate staffer insert into a bill a provision that would change the rules so that federal prosecutors could live outside their districts to serve in other jobs, according to documents and interviews
Congress passed the provision several months later as part of the USA Patriot Act reauthorization bill, retroactively benefiting Mercer and a handful of other senior Justice officials who pull double duty as U.S. attorneys and headquarters officials….
…[T]he new legislation was added to the Patriot bill at the request of Mercer, who had been assigned the task of shepherding the provision through Congress, according to congressional aides and new statements from one of Mercer’s colleagues.
The other guy is Deputy Attorney General
Barney Fife Paul McNulty.
From the National Journal:
The chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty has told congressional investigators that phone calls he placed to four fired U.S. attorneys — calls that three of the prosecutors say involved threats about testifying before Congress — were made at McNulty’s direction.
Michael Elston, the chief of staff, told congressional investigators in a closed-door session on March 30 that McNulty specifically instructed him to make the phone calls after the Justice Department’s No. 2 official learned that the fired prosecutors might testify before Congress about their dismissals.
Ahhh, Gonzogate. The scandal that keeps on giving. Stay tuned!!