"The executive branch is under no compulsion to testify to Congress, because Congress in fact doesn't have oversight ability."And here's Alberto Gonzales, dead but still walking:
"I'm not going to resign. No United States Attorney was fired for improper reasons."As suggested here yesterday, delaying the resignation is just expanding the scandal. Now the former leader of a US Justice Department team that prosecuted tobacco companies says Bush appointees forced her to present a weakened case:
Sharon Eubanks said Bush loyalists in the office of the Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales, began micromanaging the team's strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the Government's claim that the tobacco companies had conspired to lie to American smokers...Yeah, that's Robert McCallum the current US Ambassador to Australia.
"The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said," she said. "And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public."
Ms Eubanks, who served for 22 years as a lawyer at the Justice Department, said three political appointees were responsible for the last-minute shifts in the Government's tobacco case in June 2005: then associate attorney-general Robert McCallum, then assistant attorney-general Peter Keisler, and his deputy Dan Meron.
Wednesday was the first time that any of the Government lawyers on the case spoke at length publicly about what they considered high-level interference by Justice Department officials.Still not resigning, Alberto?
Ms Eubanks, who retired from the department in December 2005, said she was coming forward now because she was concerned about what she called the "overwhelming politicisation" of the department demonstrated by the controversy over the sacking of eight federal attorneys.