Prosecutors and Politics

June 22, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 24
Has the Justice Department become too politicized?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faces calls to resign from Democrats and several Republicans because of his acknowledged misstatements about the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys.  (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faces calls to resign from Democrats and several Republicans because of his acknowledged misstatements about the dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

The Bush administration's firing of nine U.S. attorneys has left Attorney General Alberto Gonzales clinging to his job while accusations of undue partisanship at the Justice Department intensify. Gonzales has admitted misleading Congress in minimizing the White House's involvement in the dismissals — an unprecedented step midway through a president's term. Some of the fired prosecutors say they may have been targeted for their handling of politically charged corruption and vote-fraud cases, but Gonzales and his former top aide deny any political motivations. Another former Gonzales aide, however, has admitted taking political affiliation into account in some Justice Department hiring decisions. Democrats in Congress want top White House aides to testify about the firings. Many Democrats — and a handful of Republicans — have called for Gonzales to resign. But he is vowing to stay, and President Bush says he has confidence in his longtime friend and aide.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Ethics in Government
Jan. 31, 2014  Whistleblowers
Feb. 18, 2011  Lies and Politics
Apr. 30, 2010  Gridlock in Washington
Jun. 22, 2007  Prosecutors and Politics
Jun. 16, 2006  Pork Barrel Politics
May 07, 1999  Independent Counsels Re-Examined
Feb. 21, 1997  Independent Counsels
May 27, 1994  Political Scandals
Apr. 06, 1979  Assassinations Investigation
Dec. 05, 1973  Presidential Impeachment
May 16, 1973  Ethics in Government
May 10, 1961  Secret Societies and Political Action
Jun. 29, 1960  Conflicts of Interest
Oct. 26, 1955  Businessmen in Government
Apr. 07, 1954  Fair Investigations
Apr. 25, 1952  Congressional Immunity
Dec. 05, 1951  Ethics in Government
Jan. 28, 1948  Individual Rights and Congressional Investigations
Jul. 02, 1934  Political Reform and Federal Patronage
Mar. 07, 1924  Congressional Extravagance and the Budget
Nov. 12, 1923  Issues Developed in the Teapot Dome Inquiry
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Separation of Powers
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