What will it take for Congress to realize that George W. Bush believes them to be utterly irrelevant? In the latest laugh in the face of Congress, RAW STORY is reporting that un-resigned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used his stealthily-gained power to appoint interim U.S. Attorneys for one last time before Bush would sign the bill recently passed by Congress revoking that authority.
Congress recently revoked the little-noticed provision of the so-called "PATRIOT Act" which allowed such appointments to be made without Congressional confirmation. The bill had been sitting on Bush's desk for signing until late yesterday, when he finally signed it. But only after Gonzales reportedly named a new interim attorney to replace the fired US Attorney from California's Central District (Los Angeles), Debra Wong Yang.
Note: RAW STORY followed up it's report from yesterday, with another today suggesting that an interim appointment may not have been made after all. The issue is still murky, it seems. Just more fallout from a runaway Bush Administration that believes they are accountable to no one.
The change to the PATRIOT Act, revoking the Bush Administration's ability to appoint interim attorneys at will, was sent to Bush for signing on June 4th. The bill passed the Senate by a 94 to 2 vote, and in the House by 306 to 114. Bush waited until last night, June 14th, to quietly sign the bill.
At the same time, Washington Post is reporting that the Dept. of Justice itself is investigating its own Attorney General's testimony to Congress, in which Gonzales claimed he had not spoken to any "fact witnesses" at the DoJ concerning his involvement in the US Attorney Purge scandal due to Congress's ongoing investigation into the matter. The DoJ's liaison with the White House, Monica Goodling, would later testify under immunity to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that Gonzales did speak of the matter, to her, in a conversation that she characterized as making her feel "a little uncomfortable." It seems Gonzo may have been hoping to get his/her story straight before testifying about it to Congress.
"It's remarkable that he's under investigation and that he's still attorney general," NYU School of Law professor, Stephen Gillers, told WaPo, underscoring both the obvious, and the Congress's continuing penchant for letting the White House play them for chumps. Why impeachment proceedings for Gonzales (much less Bush) have not already begun is beyond us. But as abused spouses also tend to wait until they're nearly dead before taking action to truly change their predicament, so, it seems will the Congress.
Gillers continued to note the absurdity of DoJ's investigation of itself. "At some point, it can no longer be done internally. This cannot be done by Gonzales's subordinates," he stated, pointing out the need for a Special Prosecutor at the very least.
But Bush doesn't care, of course, and continues to laugh in the face of Congress, which continues to behave politely, hoping everything will run its course in due time, as if they are not dealing with a near-sociopathic entity in the Bush Administration.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that the White House now admits they have "found" some of the four years of "lost" emails sent by White House staffers on RNC email servers which are thought to contain details about the US Attorney purge. The "found" email has previously been politely requested by Congress. The White House, of course, has yet to turn them over to Senate investigators.
Bush's one, clear, continuing message to Congress...