Alberto’s Embarrassment

C-SPAN Sampson testimony
There will be an hour break around 12:30 p.m., but it will resume afterwards.

Video of Sampson’s opening statement is what you’d expect. Embarrassing. But nothing is worse than Gonzo’s lack of leadership at Justice.

Christy is liveblogging the hearing here and here.

TPM Muckraker has a guide on what to look for during his testimony, with U.S. News offering a 10 question pointer.

But the bottom line is that Justice is bleeding. It’s bad. (Read Mash’s earlier post on Carol Lam if you’re not convinced). Olbermann ran it down earlier this week. Republicans need to get a grip and understand that the justice system in this country is more important than politics. So far it’s been all about saving Alberto. The importance of United States attorneys deserves more respect. Whatever happened to the primacy of the rule of law? Under Bush and Karl Rove it’s all politics.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales endured blunt criticism Tuesday from
federal prosecutors who questioned the firings of eight United States attorneys,
complained that the dismissals had undermined morale and expressed broader
grievances about his leadership, according to people briefed on the discussion.


“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.

A senior Justice Department official said Wednesday that the uncertainty
over Mr. Gonzales’s future and the accusations from Congress were having
a dispiriting effect.

“It’s a very difficult time,” said the official, who spoke
on condition of anonymity. Policy and personnel decisions were being put off
because of the uncertainty, the official said, adding, “It’s not
a time to get into a battle with someone.”

Assail Gonzales During Meeting

When Sen. Feinstein started grilling Sampson on whether he or Gonzo were aware of some of the cases in which the fired U.S. attorneys were involved the laundry list of Republicans being investigated by these fired USAs said it all.