Everyone is excited about the fact that Abu Gonzales is done. He has to be:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals.
The Nov. 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Justice Department officials said late Friday.
People, people, people. Beware the shiny objects!!
Remember the question we were last left with answering? It was: why was there an 18 (16) day gap in the emails relating to the firing of the USAs. Remember what was important about those dates? The gap started when Kyle Sampson asked Harriet Miers whether or not Bush had to sign off on the firings.
In an e-mail dated Nov. 15, 2006, Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, asked then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers and her deputy, William Kelley, whether he had the green light to go forward with the firing plan.
Miers responded that she was “not sure whether this will be determined to require the boss’s attention.” Her e-mail ended with the words: “We will see. Thanks.”
And then the gap ended after Bush had gone to Russia, Asia, Camp David, Latvia, and Jordan.
The e-mail exchange came the day after Bush left Washington for a weeklong trip to Russia and Asia. He returned for a long Thanksgiving weekend at Camp David, then took off for Latvia and Jordan before returning to Washington on Nov. 30, a Thursday. Four days later, on Monday, Dec. 4, the White House signed off on the firing plan.
The final, final approval didn't take place on that November 27 meeting we're just learning about. It took place on December 4. And the AP story cited above even strongly suggests that this is just one more shiny object.
Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said it was not immediately clear whether Gonzales gave his final approval to begin the firings at that meeting.
No one is saying this is when the plan was finally approved--and no one is even saying Abu G gave the final approval.
This may get rid of Abu G--but there is no reason to believe this ends this.
Update: While we're figuring who will have to go because of this, here's the list of the others who attended that November 27 meeting:
The latest e-mail shows preparations for the Nov. 27 meeting at 9 a.m. to discuss “U.S. Attorney Appointments.” Department officials said that the participants at the only formal meeting known to have been held to discuss the firings, included Mr. Gonzales; Paul J. McNulty, the deputy attorney general; Mr. Sampson; Monica Goodling, the department liaison to the White House; William Moschella, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs and Michael A. Battle, then head of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. Mr. Battle has since resigned and Ms. Goodling has taken a temporary leave of absence.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't lose much sleep if Paul McNulty is made to leave over this, too.