Thursday, March 22, 2007

History of fired U.S. attorneys

I'm probably way behind the curve on this, but I came across a great resource today: A Congressional Research Service report on the history of firing U.S. attorneys.

(it's a summary page; there's a link you can click on for a pdf of the report itself.)

Between 1981 and 2006, 54 of 486 U.S. attorneys left before their term was up (not counting those fired upon a change of administration).

Most left for obvious reasons: 18 became judges, 6 took other executive branch jobs, 4 ran for office, 2 left to join state government, 1 died, and 15 returned to private practice.

That leaves 8. They are:

William Kennedy, fired by Reagan in 1982 for charging that the Justice Department and CIA were blocking one of his prosecutions.

J. William Petro, fired by Reagan in 1984 for leaking information on a pending indictment to the subject of the indictment.

Frank McNamara, resigned in 1989 while the subject of a probe over whether he lied when he accused his predecessor of using marijuana.

Larry Colleton, Kendall Coffey, Two Clinton attorneys who I've discussed previously. Colleton assaulted a reporter; Coffey bit a topless dancer.

Roscoe Conklin Howard, a Bush appointee, resigned in March 2004. No reason given.

Thomas DiBiagio, a Bush appointee, resigned in 2005. No reason given, but interestingly enough he was publicly rebuked in 2004 for reportedly urging his staff to produce three "front page" indictments of elected officials before the 2004 elections.

Humberto Garcia, a Bush appointee, resigned in January. No reason given.

This count does not include U.S. attorneys who served a full four-year term but were not reappointed in a president's second term.

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Blogger daniel said...

So on Thursday Alberto Gonzales once again told us he is working tirelessly to be sure he has every American's back covered...especially our children. Should the alleged firing of six top performing U.S. Attorneys make us feel better?

I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve always been suspicious of the guy that seems to go out of his way to tell you he’s "got your back covered".

See a sarcastic visual that demonstrates how many Americans feel when the Attorney General reassures us that he's got our backs

3/23/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas DiBiagio was fired because the state's head of the Democrat party demanded it....because he said DiBiagio had pressured his attorneys to go on political witch hunts and indict some people. So, how is that a negative for the Bush administration? It's not. It's a plus because it proves fairness. He didn't have to fire the guy just because a Democrat demanded it. But he did. So, on this one....blame the Democrat party chairman of that state if you object to the firing. But I doubt you will now that you know it was done to please a Democrat.


3/24/2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP5, what in this thread suggested I was objecting to any of these firings? This is simply a list of prosecutors who left office early. What it mostly demonstrates is the unprecedented nature of the firings at the center of the Gonzales uproar.

3/25/2007 8:47 AM  

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