Jamie Gorelick's Cloudy Memory

Ed Lasky
Jamie Gorelick writes an op-ed complaining about the politicization of the Department of Justice regarding the recruitment of U.S. Attorneys during the Bush Administration. She makes it appear as if the ability to hire and fire US attorneys were not at the discretion of the President -- which it is. But she also forgot her own history.

Gorelick was herself a Clinton appointee and one who has seemingly forgotten her own President's actions in using the bludgeon of Justice Department hiring and firings for political purposes. To wit:

Bill Clinton fired  all U.S. Attorney's when he assumed office and this was both unprecedented and political in nature.
From a Wall Street Journal report:

As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.

At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: "All those people are routinely replaced," he told reporters, "and I have not done anything differently." In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.

Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to "politicizing" Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

This history Ms. Gorelick ignores. There is also a bit more history that Gorelick ignores: her own. When she talks of injustice, maybe she should be looking in the mirror. After all, she was the writer of the memo which created a "Chinese Wall" between intelligence agencies that impeded investigations that could have, and should have, taken place regarding the 9/11 conspiracy before the terror attacks occurred. She hampered communications between American intelligence and law enforcement agencies that could have prevented the tragedy..

Gorelick was also involved , as a well compensated director of Fannie Mae, in overseeing the actions of this quasi-governmental agency whose actions (including accounting problems) have done great harm to our housing industry and to our economy.

Yet..she is again a highly compensated attorney for a prestigious law firm.

Now that is injustice.
Jamie Gorelick writes an op-ed complaining about the politicization of the Department of Justice regarding the recruitment of U.S. Attorneys during the Bush Administration. She makes it appear as if the ability to hire and fire US attorneys were not at the discretion of the President -- which it is. But she also forgot her own history.

Gorelick was herself a Clinton appointee and one who has seemingly forgotten her own President's actions in using the bludgeon of Justice Department hiring and firings for political purposes. To wit:

Bill Clinton fired  all U.S. Attorney's when he assumed office and this was both unprecedented and political in nature.
From a Wall Street Journal report:

As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.

At the time, President Clinton presented the move as something perfectly ordinary: "All those people are routinely replaced," he told reporters, "and I have not done anything differently." In fact, the dismissals were unprecedented: Previous Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, had both retained holdovers from the previous Administration and only replaced them gradually as their tenures expired. This allowed continuity of leadership within the U.S. Attorney offices during the transition.

Equally extraordinary were the politics at play in the firings. At the time, Jay Stephens, then U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia, was investigating then Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, and was "within 30 days" of making a decision on an indictment. Mr. Rostenkowski, who was shepherding the Clinton's economic program through Congress, eventually went to jail on mail fraud charges and was later pardoned by Mr. Clinton.

Also at the time, allegations concerning some of the Clintons' Whitewater dealings were coming to a head. By dismissing all 93 U.S. Attorneys at once, the Clintons conveniently cleared the decks to appoint "Friend of Bill" Paula Casey as the U.S. Attorney for Little Rock. Ms. Casey never did bring any big Whitewater indictments, and she rejected information from another FOB, David Hale, on the business practices of the Arkansas elite including Mr. Clinton. When it comes to "politicizing" Justice, in short, the Bush White House is full of amateurs compared to the Clintons.

This history Ms. Gorelick ignores. There is also a bit more history that Gorelick ignores: her own. When she talks of injustice, maybe she should be looking in the mirror. After all, she was the writer of the memo which created a "Chinese Wall" between intelligence agencies that impeded investigations that could have, and should have, taken place regarding the 9/11 conspiracy before the terror attacks occurred. She hampered communications between American intelligence and law enforcement agencies that could have prevented the tragedy..

Gorelick was also involved , as a well compensated director of Fannie Mae, in overseeing the actions of this quasi-governmental agency whose actions (including accounting problems) have done great harm to our housing industry and to our economy.

Yet..she is again a highly compensated attorney for a prestigious law firm.

Now that is injustice.