Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blog Commenter Refutes the "But Bill Clinton did it too" defense

Reagan fired all of the sitting US Attorney's at the beginning of his term in 1981. It took 73 days to complete the turnover of the entire bunch.

Bush 41 replaced 90 of 93 US Attorney's at the start of his term, even though they were serving under Reagan and his Vice Presidency. This process took 61 days.

Clinton fired 92 of 93 US Attorney's when he took office, leaving Michael Chertoff in place. This process took 120 days from the start of his term.

George W. Bush fired all 93 of the US Attorney's at the start of his term, and the process took 76 days.

The list goes back for a lengthy period of time, where it shows complete consistency of the President accepting the resignations, or for[c]ing terminations of all or most of the sitting US Attorney's at the start of their first term.

There have only been 5 US Attorney's ever relieved of duty in the middle of a Presidential Term in the last 80+ years. Now, George W. Bush has relieved 8, which is almost double the previous precedent.

So, while it is easy to try and make it seem as if Clinton was truly out of line for the steps he took with regards to the removal of US Attorney's at the beginning of his term, the reality is that all Presidents do it, including the current President. Not all Presidents’ fire their own appointees in the middle of a term though, as that incendiary act is reserved only for those attorney's who have broken the law while serving their position, or for President's who are looking to circumvent the law and/or tradition of utilizing the DOJ in a completely non-political and non-partisan fashion.

Thanks to


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