The administration has insisted that the US Attorneys were fired for poor performance [JURIST report], but Sampson Thursday characterized the difference between "political" and "performance-related" reasons for dismissal as "largely artificial." He denied the dismissals were intended to discourage US Attorneys from prosecuting corruption cases that might hurt the Bush administration, but said federal prosecutors serve at the president's pleasure and are judged in large part on how in sync they are with administration policy.
The Justice Department [official website] admitted Wednesday that it gave senators inaccurate information about the firings and presidential political adviser Karl Rove's role in trying to secure a US attorney's post in Arkansas for one of his former aides, Tim Griffin [Raw Story report]. Also Wednesday, Justice officials said a Feb. 23 letter sent to four Democratic senators wrongly stated that the department was not aware of Rove's involvement. AP has more.
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