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How Many Attorneys Did Bill Clinton Fire?

Does anybody know exactly what Al Kamen does at the Washington Post? Is he a reporter or is he just a color commentator?

If Mr. Kamen is a reporter he might want to have somewhat factcheck his latest piece. (Which begins, hilariously enough with the assurance that Alberto Gonzales is gone. Then features Kamen furiously backpedaling after President Bush’s announcement yesterday.)

But Mr. Kamen also included in his column this bit of seeming misinformation:

Fired With Cause

Meanwhile, amid the controversy over the administration’s firing of the eight federal prosecutors, little attention has been paid to the fact that President Bill Clinton, after first sacking all 93 U.S. attorneys appointed by Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush, also fired or “resigned” three or four of his federal prosecutors.

One was Larry Colleton, who resigned shortly after he was videotaped grabbing Jacksonville, Fla., television reporter Richard Rose by the throat. Unclear why that was such a big deal.

Another Florida federal prosecutor, Kendall Coffey, resigned “amid accusations that he bit a topless dancer on the arm during a visit to an adult club after losing a big drug case.” (There was a strict Clinton policy against biting.) A third Clinton firing, noted by a Congressional Research Service report, was of San Francisco prosecutor Michael Yamaguchi, who seemed to have crossed swords with local judges and Justice Department officials. Clinton replaced him with Bush I Justice Department chief of the criminal division, a fellow named Robert Mueller, whom Bush II appointed FBI director.

But, with those few exceptions, the Clinton folks “didn’t ask for resignations” after the first term, former deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick recalls. In contrast to other positions, where people might expect to be replaced after four years, she said, “we considered [the prosecutors’ jobs] to be a serious law enforcement function” and didn’t think of replacing them after one tour.

According to Karl Rove, who should know, President Clinton appointed 123 US attorneys. (Compared to President Bush’s 128.)

Which means, in addition to the original 93, Clinton “asked for resignations” of another thirty federal prosecutors during his eight year administration. Not “two or three” as Jamie “the wall” Gorelick and Mr. Kamen claim.

But who is correct here?

Why are these details so hard to find? Why can’t our media watchdogs get out the most basic facts even in a story that is so dear to their hearts?

Don’t they want to know the truth?

And speaking of things the media has assiduously ignored:

There was a strict Clinton policy against biting.

Someone should tell Juanita Broaddrick (on right) about that policy.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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