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Alberto Gonzales isn’t leaving. But evidently many of his best career staff are planning to do exactly that if he hangs around. Speaking at a conference at Seattle University Law School, former U.S. attorneys John McKay, David Iglesias, and Paul Charlton offered a number of further insights into the rapid degeneration of the Department of Justice following the arrival of Alberto Gonzales and Paul J. McNulty. The three warned that the current controversy was severely damaging to morale at the Department of Justice. According to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, they anticipated a mass exodus of the best professionals working there.
the appearance of impropriety has wasted the credibility of the Justice Department, and they suggested new leadership would be needed to restore it. Iglesias said he has spoken with many U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys around the country. “To a person, they’re sickened by this. Some are actively looking for work,” he said. “Morale is terrible across the country.”
McKay told the audience, which included law students, lawyers and members of the public, that he hopes the scandal does not only lead to the “corruption of ideals.” “I hope there are some lessons about integrity and the willingness to pay a price,” he said.
The Seattle Times also reports that the three focused on Alberto Gonzales’s role in the politicization of the Department.
McKay said he first had concerns about politics entering the Justice Department in early 2005, when Gonzales addressed all of the country’s U.S. attorneys in Scottsdale, Ariz. “His first speech to us was a ‘you work for the White House’ speech,” McKay recalled. “‘I work for the White House, you work for the White House.’ ” McKay said he thought at the time, “He couldn’t have meant that speech,” given the traditional independence of U.S. attorneys. “It turns out he did.”
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Estimated number of people who watched a live Webcast of a hair transplant last fall:
A rancher in Texas was developing a system that will permit hunters to kill animals by remote control via a website.
A man in Japan was arrested for stealing a prospective employer’s wallet during a job interview, and a court in Germany ruled that it is safe for a woman with breast implants to be a police officer.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."