THE BLOG
04/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Politico Labels Bush U.S. Attorney as GOP's Future, Ignores Evidence He Politicized Office

An anonymous U.S. Attorney who was cut loose in the firing scandal that brought down Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tells Politico that some of the prosecutors who remained "wished they had been fired, too."

There was a reverse presumption that if they stayed in office, they would be seen to have compromised themselves.

The story is about several Bush-era U.S. Attorneys who are likely to seek higher office, but its primary subject is Chris Christie, a Bush "Pioneer" fundraiser in 2000 and New Jersey Republican candidate for governor in 2009. According to Politico, Christie is the prime example of how "the U.S. attorney badge has taken on a new sheen for the GOP." Though what the story does not mention are these revelations from two years ago, as summarized by Blue Jersey's huntsu:
  • In January 2006, Chris Christie was on a list of US Attorney's who were being looked at for replacement.
  • In September 2006, in the midst of a hard-fought U.S. Senate campaign being dominated by accusations of corruption, Chris Christie authorizes a last minute subpoena that plays into Tom Kean Jr.'s political attacks against Bob Menendez.
  • In November 2006, after the election is over, Chris Christie is taken off the list and allowed to keep his job.
This wasn't small news only discussed on blogs. Outlets like the Star Ledger and New York Times devoted articles and columns to the apparent scandal. But oblivious to these reports, the Politico reporter points to Christie as one of those who rose above the politicization and stain of the Bush Justice Department -- that he is "[f]ar from being a source of embarrassment." Those in the know feel otherwise.

And perhaps Chris Christie is one of them. Had he received a pink slip like the prosecutors with integrity did, the circumstantial evidence that he played politics with his office would not be as persuasive. Because if there are U.S. Attorneys who look like they compromised themselves for the Bush White House, Christie remains at the top of that list.

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