Miers Mark All Over U.S. Attorney Report
Poor Rep. John Conyers. The House Judiciary Committee chairman has spent more than a year trying to get Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, to testify about her role in firing U.S. Attorneys. He even won a federal civil suit that prevented Miers from invoking executive privilege. But on the day that a Justice Dept. internal report showed Miers played a huge role in the atty. scandal, Washington is in a state of apocalyptic frenzy over the House’s failure to pass a bailout bill.
The report shows that Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff of former Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales, ran the show when it came to deciding which U.S Attorneys to fire and when — and Miers knew the details. Sampson consulted with Miers throughout on the plan to fire U.S. Attorneys not friendly to the Bush administration right after George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election. He looked for Miers’ approval.
He did not consult Gonzales or the Justice Dept. no. 2, Deputy AG Paul McNulty, until a month before the December 2006 dismissal of seven U.S. AG’s in one day.
Conyers announced today that the judiciary committee will hold a hearing Friday that examines possible criminal misconduct in the dismissal of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006. Miers will surely be invited to testify, but the White House has successfully persuaded the D.C. circuit court to block her testimony.
A Justice Dept. special prosecutor, appointed today by Atty. General Mike Mukasey might keep the heat on Miers well after the Bush administration leaves town. But don’t bet against Miers, the former Supreme Court nominee, from finding a way not to talk.