Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So Where's The Beef?

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Now we have had the testimony of Monica Goodling, under a grant of immunity. And what have we learned?

She believes she asked too many political questions when hiring DOJ staff, in and effort to, "ensur(e) that the department was staffed by well-qualified individuals who were supportive of the attorney general’s views, priorities and goals.” She says that a US Attorney was probably fired to make room for a friend of Karl Rove. She says that "the White House" signed off on the list of US Attorneys to be fired at the end of the process. She says that Paul McNulty was incorrect when he did not acknowledge the White House's sign off.

What she did not say was that people were fired for either overzealous prosecution of Republicans or underzealous prosecution of Democrats. That, after all, has been the all but unspoken accusation of the Democrats.

The appointment of a friend of Rove's is no crime. Such is the stuff and substance of the American political process. The winner's friends get jobs.

As for the White House sign off on the end process of a piece of staff work, that must happen every day. The key point is that there is as yet no testimony that the White House instigated the firings and that they were for some nefarious and improper political purpose.

All of this, however, will do nothing to slow the pace of the investigation. They will beat this dead horse through to the 2008 elections if they can.

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