Today, the Department of Justice Inspector General testified on his recent report documenting the rampant and unlawful politicization of the Justice Department. He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “said he was unaware of what was going on” at his own department, and that he “basically said he didn’t have knowledge of the role the office of the Attorney General played in identifying candidates” for career positions.
After two days of silence from the White House press corps on the subject, a reporter finally asked White House press secretary Dana Perino about the report today. She refused to say that President Bush was “disappointed” in Gonzales, admitting only “overall disappointment in the situation”:
QUESTION: Does this mean — can I infer from that that President Bush is disappointed in Alberto Gonzales?
PERINO: I think that, if you look at the report, and it is in line with what the attorney general said at the time, which was that he was not aware of that — of that going on. And so I don’t think there’s anything – the disappointment doesn’t necessarily go to the attorney general. [...]
QUESTION: But you won’t go so far as to say that, looking at Alberto Gonzales’ Justice Department, President Bush is disappointed this was going on?
PERINO: Well, I think that we are — overall disappointment in the situation, sure.
The President refuses to punish his most loyal Bushie because he carried out his orders. Even after stalwart conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) acknowledged Gonzales’ “incompetence” today, Bush continues to “stand by Al Gonzales.”
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