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Don't Put Politics Ahead of the Law
By Martin S. Pinales
President's Column columns.
Critics are alleging that the Justice Department’s recent firing of
certain U.S. attorneys was motivated by politics. One of the former
federal prosecutors brought corruption charges against a Republican
congressman. Another prosecutor did not file corruption charges against
Democrats within a timeframe that pleased a Republican senator.
Should our U.S. attorneys — the chief law enforcement officers in their
districts — consider political party affiliation when deciding which
cases to prosecute? No. Certainly not. Perhaps someone should enlighten
the White House and officials at the Justice Department, because I don’t
think they received the memo.
The position of U.S. attorney is a political appointment. There is no
other way to look at it. Any person taking the job knows he or she
serves at the pleasure of the president. For example, when President
Clinton moved into the White House, he dismissed all 93 U.S. attorneys.
It was his right to replace them, an
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