From the New York Times:
Paul J.McNulty, the deputy attorney general whose Congressional testimony in February provided a spark that turned a smoldering issue over the firings of federal prosecutors into a raging inferno, announced his resignation on Monday.McNulty, Alberto Gonzales' second in command, appears to have been "[telling] friends for weeks that he was planning to step aside." Uh-huh. Sure. The fact that this guy got in front of congress and SHOCK! told the truth and made Gonzales and the Bush Administration look like the dirty political hacks that they are had nothing to do with it. I'd imagine that the atmosphere for him at the office was probably pretty noxious.
McNulty blamed himself for failing to resist the dismissal plan when Mr. Sampson brought it to him in October 2006, according to associates. He took one prosecutor off the removal list but acquiesced to the removal of seven others, according to Congressional aides’ accounts of his private testimony to Congress on April 27. […]I thought so. Republicans are pissed because this guy told the truth about the politicization of the Justice Department instead of putting party above country. How dare he take a principled (if belated) stand that would be politically costly for the GOP and the President! Didn't he get Rove's memo that every action that this Administration takes will be with the sole purpose of creating a permanent Republican majority?
Friends of Mr. McNulty said he had tried to be candid about what he knew of the removals. In his private Congressional testimony, Mr. McNulty said he did not realize until later the extensive White House involvement in Mr. Griffin’s appointment or Mr. Sampson’s nearly year-long effort to compile a list.
White House aides complained privately that Mr. McNulty’s testimony gave Democrats a significant opening to demand more testimony from the Justice Department and presidential aides. Several aides said he should have been combative in defending the dismissals.
We'll probably never know. All of Karl's emails were mysteriously "lost."
While it's nice to see a high level Bush Administration official canned as a result of poor performance, the McNulty saga leaves me feeling empty because it is so typical for BushCo.
First, McNulty wasn't canned because he allowed U.S. Attorneys to be fired for political reasons, he was 'resigned' because he gave the Democrats the in that they needed to expose the fact that U.S. Attorneys were fired for political reasons.
Second, McNulty takes the fall for Gonzales. There are very few things I would work hard to avoid as being a deputy anything in the Bush Administration. I swear, those guys are there specifically to take the fall for their bosses. (Of course Alberto Gonzales is still Attorney General only because it allows Karl Rove to stay out of the cross-hairs for a little while longer.)
Finally, once again we see someone leave the Bush Administration because of a scandal and don't see a single iota of compunction, shame, or remorse.
Paul McNulty US Attorney Firings Alberto Gonzales Justice Department