Gonzales’ dangerous precedent.

As ThinkProgress noted earlier today, the only reason Alberto Gonzales gave for firing U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara was that “we had to send someone out from Main Justice to help mediate some kind of personnel dispute.” Legal Times writes that this is a dangerous precedent, since U.S. Attorneys “should use the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys to help with management issues in the office.”

“What has the attorney general now done?” asks Thomas Heffelfinger, who was U.S. attorney in Minnesota from 2001 to 2006, and who worked closely with a number of the fired prosecutors. “He’s now told U.S. attorneys that are now there, ‘If you ask for help, you run the risk of getting fired.’ How is that helping the management function of the U.S. attorneys?”