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More Clouds


(Image via a gorgeous wildlife blog.  Some gorgeous shots here, do check them out.)

Looks like Dick Cheney isn't the only one with clouds:

At a meeting in Denver, attended by about a dozen mainly Western prosecutors, Mr. Gonzales was told that the dismissals had cast a cloud over all the United States attorneys’ offices, not only over the prosecutors who were removed. But at that meeting, according to one official briefed on the discussion, prosecutors focused on steps to improve communications between the attorney general and United States attorneys.

The criticism from prosecutors in the Justice Department’s field offices comes as the uproar over the dismissals appears to also have eroded confidence in Mr. Gonzales at the agency’s headquarters, where top officials have been focused for weeks on little else.

Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McNulty, who are expected to testify before Congress in two weeks, are said by officials to have maintained a working relationship, but their staffs have feuded over who is to blame.

Some of Mr. Gonzales’ aides have blamed Mr. McNulty for inflaming the issue by testifying on Feb. 6 that one of the ousted prosecutors, H. E. Cummins III, was removed for no reason. Mr. McNulty’s aides have blamed Mr. Sampson and Monica Goodling, the liaison to the White House, for failing to disclose their conversations with the White House before the removals.

In Washington, one Republican lawmaker said he was less concerned with Mr. Gonzales’s personal situation than how it was affecting the day-to-day performance of the Justice Department.

“I can’t imagine a department being more demoralized with what’s going on there,” said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Mr. Specter said in an interview that Mr. Gonzales needed to demonstrate his candor about the dismissals and assure people about his competence to retain his post.

“The Justice Department is too important to the country to have it hanging on the edge of a cliff,” he said.

Thus far this morning, Mr. Sampson's testimony hasn't resolved any of these issue in my mind. What do you think?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com