Non Scandalous Scandal

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Non Scandalous Scandal

Friday night the press was up in arms over Sessions decision to ask for the resignation letters of 46 Obama appointed US Attorneys…

President Donald Trump’s administration asked remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama to offer their resignations Friday, a seemingly abrupt move that surprised many—including the officeholders asked to leave.

The timing and scope of such dismissals have often led to charges and counter-charges that they violated prior precedents. President Bill Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, asked for resignations in March 1993, but allowed U.S. attorneys to stay in place until their replacements could be confirmed.

It appears the Trump administration plans to handle the dismissals differently. “The attorney general has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

First, we need to discuss just the hypocrisy of the headlines.  The linked Politico article above was written Josh Gerstein who entitled it, “Trump team ousts [emphasis added] Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys.”  However, back in 2009 when Gerstein wrote an article about the Obama administration doing the exact same thing he chose a different title.

Interesting.  Trump ousts peoples, Obama replaces them.  Had it just been the same publication hypocrisy would probably do.  However, because it’s the same journalist I don’t know what word to use.  HUGE hypocrisy?  Bigly hypocrisy?  I guess anyone would do.  However, regular hypocrisy just doesn’t seem to cover it.

Despite the headline hypocrisy, we have the story itself that deserves questions.  The very fact that there are two headlines for one story in two different presidencies means this is something that has happened before.  This isn’t the first, second, or even the third time this has happened.  Number four is where this is all started back in 1993 with Bill Clinton and Janet Reno…

In March 1993, Janet Reno began her tenure as President Bill Clinton’s attorney general by summarily firing United States attorneys for 93 of the 94 federal districts (one, Michael Chertoff, was retained in New Jersey, at the request of Democratic Senator Bill Bradley). That is more than twice as many as Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions fired on Friday.

Once Clinton set that precedent, there was nary a peep when Bush had replaced nearly all of Clinton’s appointees by the end of his first year. After taking office as attorney general in 2009, Eric Holder explained that the newly elected Barack Obama would soon announce “our first batch of U.S. attorneys” to supplant Bush incumbents. Elaborating, he matter-of-factly said, “Elections matter. It is our intention to have the U.S. attorneys that are selected by President Obama in place as quickly as [we] can.”

That is exactly what President Trump has done. It is also exactly what he should have done.

McCarthy’s article explains this has less to do with Donald Trump doing it and more to do with a Republican doing it.  In fact George W Bush did the exact same thing in 2006 and a scandal erupted because of it.  McCarthy blames this on the GOP’s failure at playing the democrats own games against them.  The GOP is always at a disadvantage on this since the Dems get to write and change the rules at will.  However, once the Democrats set a rule in stone it’s best to take advantage.

Trump firing the attorneys in the same month as Clinton is going to make it that much harder for the dems to criticize.  President Bush’s failures were two-fold.  One, he waited till 6 years into his presidency to fire them and two upon firing them the administration blamed performance instead of good ole fashioned politics.  President Bush’s failure to see the distinction cost hum a legit scandal and his attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.

Trump has already faced some attempted scandal hyping by the press and he apparently has smartened up.  His administration announced this on late on Friday, in the same month that President Clinton did in 1993, and they said it was just politics.  Very smart.  If this story is even around Tuesday morning I will be surprised.

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