Bench Memos

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Machinations, Conspiracy, Whatever


“E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor” blares the headline on this Washington Post story from today.  The biased headline—“steps” would be more appropriate (as well as shorter) than “machinations”—cannot obscure the fact that the article provides yet further evidence (inadvertently, to be sure) that there is no scandal underlying all the hullabaloo over the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys.


Specifically, after review of the thousands of pages of e-mails that have been made available, the hottest story that the Post’s reporters could come up with is that Tim Griffin, the interim U.S. attorney in Little Rock who was appointed to replace Bud Cummins when Cummins was dismissed, “aggressively … sought the appointment” over a period of months.  (If there is a hotter story in another paper, I haven’t seen it.)  Somehow I suspect that there have been plenty of appointees over the years who have been far more aggressive than Griffin.  More to the point, the fact that the Administration took so long—some six months or more—to dismiss Cummins after it had decided to replace him with Griffin cuts strongly against the notion that the personnel move was aimed to affect some particular proceeding.   


I’ve just discovered, in finding the hyperlink to the story, that the Politics page of the online Washington Post titles the article “E-Mails Reveal Conspiracy”!  Evidently, “Machinations” wasn’t biased enough.

Tags: Whelan


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