Politics

Ensign ‘Flabbergasted’ Over Attorney Firing: It Was ‘Completely Mishandled By The Attorney General’

In a press conference this afternoon, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) blasted the Bush administration’s decision to fire Nevada-based U.S. attorney Daniel Bogden. Bogden “was described in his last job performance evaluation in 2003 as being a ‘capable’ leader who was highly regarded by the federal judiciary and investigators. ‘He didn’t get any dings,’ said a Justice Department official with knowledge of the review. ‘The overall evaluation was very positive.'”

Ensign said he was “flabbergasted when [he] first heard….that not a single conversation had been had between” Bogden and the Department of Justice prior to the firing. Ensign said the firing had been “completely mishandled by the U.S. Attorney General.” He added, “A good leader does not just fire someone for no good reason.” Via CNN Pipeline:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/ensignattorneys.320.240.flv]

Transcript:

I was flabbergasted when I first heard this. I cannot tell you — I’m not a person who raises his voice very often. My staff could hear the frustration that I expressed to Paul McNulty when he first informed me that not a single conversation had been had between him or any of the previous deputy attorney generals with Dan as far his priorities were concerned.

[…]

The bottom line in all of this is the relieving of duties of Dan Bogden, however you want to describe it, was completely mishandled by the U.S. Attorney General.

[…]

The deputy attorney general — in the conversations that I had — he was either ill-informed about the whole process or [he] intentionally misled. One of the two.

[…]

Everybody who’s appointed by the White House understands that they serve at the pleasure of the President. But that does not mean — a good leader does not just dismiss someone for no good reason, especially if you haven’t done your job in the first place. And I don’t believe the U.S. Attorney General’s office did their job in the first place.