Let me first start off with the fact that the U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, and they may be fired for any reason, or for no reason whatsoever. That having been said, the ginned-up controversy over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys continues. The latest news in this Congressionally-contrived controversy comes as a refusal to answer questions:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s senior counselor yesterday refused to testify in the Senate about her involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Monica M. Goodling, who has taken an indefinite leave of absence, said in a sworn affidavit to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she will “decline to answer any and all questions” about the firings because she faces “a perilous environment in which to testify.”
Considering what happened to Scooter Libby, I don’t blame Ms. Goodling for not wanting to testify before Congress. But not everyone shares this belief, as quoted in the Washington Post article:
“The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling’s concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the committee under oath,” said Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gee, Senator Leahy, during the eight years of the Clinton administration, there were 122 people who pleaded their Fifth Amendment rights, fled the country to avoid testifying, or simply refused to be interviewed since they were foreigners. So using your yardstick, Senator, I am left to wonder what conduct was at the base of their concern that they might incriminate themselves in connection with the criminal charges surrounding the Clinton administration.