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Fired Attorneys

In case anyone's playing catch-up on the story, Paul Kiel has a good overview of the U.S. attorneys who were fired by the Bush administration, ostensibly for political reasons. McClatchy just reported that last October, Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson had pressured U.S. attorney David Iglesias to "speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator." He said no, and now he's gone. It doesn't look pretty, and Jonathan Singer wonders what this scandal could mean for the already-flailing GOP in New Mexico.

Now the House Judiciary Committee is planning to get the bottom of this next week. I'd say there are two good theories as to why the White House was so brazen about firing these people. One, they were seriously worried about all the corruption cases coming down the pipe--San Diego's Carol Lam was making headway on the Duke Cunningham case, for instance--and figured that the ruckus over a few fired prosecutors would be trivial in comparison. Or, they just didn't think they'd get caught, and still act as if they can do whatever they damned well please and get away with it. Honestly, the latter sounds pretty plausible.

--Bradford Plumer