James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General, testified before congress the other day, and shot more holes through the administration's story about the fired US Attorneys' 'performance'. As usual, the gang at FireDogLake has it covered.
But let's look at this golden oldie, on why he wasn't promoted to AG. It may shed some light on why he seemed ready to speak out this week. From Law.com back in '04:
There are a number of candidates who could be tapped to replace John Ashcroft as attorney general if President George W. Bush wins re-election. But perhaps the most obvious choice, Deputy AG James Comey, almost certainly will not be.
Since his confirmation as the No. 2 Justice Department official in December 2003, sources close to the department say Comey has had a strained relationship with some of the president's top advisers, who feel that Comey has been insensitive to political concerns.
According to several former administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tensions were sparked when Comey appointed a special prosecutor to take over the investigation into whether a White House official leaked a Central Intelligence Agency operative's name to the media. The special prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, has doggedly pursued the probe, and several administration officials, including presidential adviser Karl Rove, have been questioned by prosecutors.
Interesting. I wonder how that worked out for the administration. Oh wait...
Here's the money quote from the article:
"[Comey] has shown insufficient political savvy," says the former official. "The perception is that he has erred too much on the side of neutrality and independence."
Yeah, can't have that, now, can we?