Are Gonzales' aides attempting a coup? Red State thinks so:
If you haven't read Quin Hillyer's piece at the Spectator, you may want to read it first. Here's the thing folks, the President needs to fire some people at Justice. There are two specific people: Paul McNulty and David Margolis. Margolis is the assistant to McNulty and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty is the problem at Justice, along with a handful of Democrat careerists the President should have fired in 2001.
Let's be clear, no one is excited about Alberto Gonzales, but even a cursory reading of Jan Crawford Greenburg's book Supreme Conflict shows AGAG to not only be conservative, but also one of the people who kept, or at least tried to keep, the President from doing all sorts of dumb things -- including advising against the appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
Paul McNulty, on the other hand, wants to be Attorney General. I've been told by several highly reliable people that it is McNulty's office that is now leaking like a sieve everything they can find to cast the blame at the White House and Alberto Gonzales. It is McNulty who smeared the reputations of the eight fired U.S. Attorneys. It is McNulty who most likely added Kevin Ryan, a very popular and very competent U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, to the list of the fired. And McNulty is being aided an abetted by several career Democrats at Justice who President Bush should have fired when he came into office.
The Democrats are arguing that the firing of the prosecutor whom they claim was investigating Republican Congressman Lewis proves the firings were political. But Patterico gives them a long needed geography lesson: They have the wrong office. Via Just One Minute Patterico helps people think about the difference between San Diego and Los Angeles: Democrats have been alleging that the Bush Administration targeted Carol Lam because she was investigating Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis (the only Republican Congressman, by the way, who is popular in France). The thing is, she wasn't.
Despite what many appear to assume, Lam wasn't the U.S. Attorney responsible for investigating Lewis. The U.S. Attorney responsible for the Lewis investigation was Debra Yang in Los Angeles.
If you follow the links at the TPM timeline you will find the same point, subtly:
May 11, 2006:
The LA Times reports that the investigation of Cunningham has expanded to include Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman.
And the linked article says this, with emphasis added:
Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis, the Californian who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, government officials and others said, signaling the spread of a San Diego corruption probe.
The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles has issued subpoenas in an investigation into the relationship between Lewis (R-Redlands) and a Washington lobbyist linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe), three people familiar with the investigation said....
Would a presumably ambitious prosecutor in Los Angeles hand over the case to San Diego after doing the spadework? Sure, maybe the cases could have been consolidated at some point down the road, but who thinks that LA would let their case die if Lam's presumably pliable replacement dropped it?
This looks like another one of those "scandals" where the mandarinate and the media are working together to spin straw into gold.