Until now, the primary line of defense for Gonzales supporters is the contention that he did nothing illegal. They've long since given up refuting the charge that he doesn't exhibit the professionalism or competence necessary to be the United States Attorney General. The entire debate for them is now focused on their claim that nothing illegal was done.
A report in today's Wall Street Journal may begin to bring that into doubt.
WASHINGTON -- As midterm elections approached last November, federal investigators in Arizona faced unexpected obstacles in getting needed Justice Department approvals to advance a corruption investigation of Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, people close to the case said.
The delays, which postponed key approvals in the case until after the election, raise new questions about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other officials may have weighed political issues in some investigations. The Arizona U.S. attorney then overseeing the case, Paul Charlton, was told he was being fired in December, one of eight federal prosecutors dismissed in the past year. The dismissals have triggered a wave of criticism and calls from Congress for Mr. Gonzales to resign.
White House defenders will, of course, argue that this was all just an unfortunate coincidence. You may believe in coincidences. I don't.
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