The White House approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys late last year after senior Justice Department officials identified the prosecutors they believed were not doing enough to carry out President Bush's policies on immigration, firearms and other issues, White House and Justice Department officials said yesterday.
One of the complaints came from Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), who specifically raised concerns with the Justice Department last fall about the performance of then-U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias of New Mexico, according to administration officials and Domenici's office.
Iglesias has alleged that two unnamed New Mexico lawmakers pressured him in October to speed up the indictments of Democrats before the elections. Domenici has declined to comment on that allegation.
The firings have sparked outrage from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress as details emerge about the unusual decision to remove so many at once on Dec. 7, in the middle of the administration's term. The issue escalated this week with the allegations from Iglesias, who has said he will name the two New Mexico lawmakers who called him if he is asked under oath.
I realize that federal DAs serve at the pleasure of the president and are routinely replaced when a different political party takes control the White House, but firing someone because he isn't indicting people of the opposite party is beyond the pale.