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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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:
Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.
A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”