09/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why Holder and Obama Have Not Fired the Bush Appointed, Rove-Vetted Department of Justice Attorneys

Crossposted at

It's an unprecedented outrage. There are scores of attorneys -- partisan ones -- engaging in serial prosecutorial misconduct, as in the cases of Gov. Don Siegelman and Cyril Wecht, and these Bush-appointees are still on the job, doing damage to the U.S, to justice and innocent victims.

I offer a theory explaining this breach of trust by Obama; why he has failed to do what every president before him has done.

The progressive media should be raising an outcry about this daily, pointing its light at the abuses of the individual prosecutors. The mainstream media should be covering the abuses. All the media should be asking "Why?"

Why are Holder and Obama not firing and replacing these attorneys, as every other president taking office has done? Why are they leaving these partisan appointees, the worst, most partisan bunch in recent history -- possibly ever?

I have a theory. Obama and his people, probably starting with Rahm Emanuel, are saving them to trade favors with key Republicans. You see these toxic, partisan attorneys have real value to Republicans, especially when you pair them with Bush appointed Federal judges. Put them together and they can prosecute a frog for hopping, and a public official who pissed off a Republican senator for breathing in the wrong direction. There are so many thousands of regulations and rules that a federal prosecutor inclined to abuse prosecutorial privilege can put the screws to the most honest person in the state.

If a senator -- often the most powerful party member in a state -- wants to take out the most powerful members, or most up and coming members of the opposition party, the DOJ attorney can be a powerful ally in making it happen. That's what happened to Don Siegelman and Cyril Wecht. They were targeted and accused with charges that were absolutely ridiculous and unreasonable. Wecht had the worst judge imaginable, who was later reversed by a Republican, Bush-appointee.

So, here's my guess on why Holder is holding back. Obama and his advisory team have decided that they can, when the crunch comes, for the next trillion dollar bailout, or when the final push comes to pass the health care bill, trade retention of a toxic Bush-appointed Federal attorney for a vote.

It's reprehensible, unacceptable, but, at a point when history has always seen the DOJ attorneys replaced, we must ask why this has not happened.

There's another hypothesis a colleague has offered -- that Obama is bending over backwards not to make waves, to remain non-partisan, or rather, to maintain the lie of non-partisanism in this increasingly ugly, toxic partisan milieu in which the 111th congress has been marinating.

I'm not satisfied with that explanation. It goes against history without enough of a possible payoff, without enough of a reason for keeping the actively destructive prosecutors in place.

One study shows that 85% of the targets of these prosecutors were Democrats. It is insane to leave them in place, doing the same dirty work when the nation elected a Democratic president.

Take Alabama, where the prosecutor who has vilified and terrorized Gov. Don Siegelman, is still at work. We have two republican Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions. They had plenty to gain getting rid of a powerful and popular Democratic governor, hurting the state's top democratic leadership. They have plenty to gain keeping things that way. And hey, Shelby is ranking minority member of the senate Banking committee. See the possibilities?

To me, this has the fingerprints of Rahm Emanuel, who never met a conservative or DINO he wouldn't sell out a progressive for, all over it.

It's time that progressive talk radio hosts and TV personalities -- Maddow, Schultz, Ratigan and Olbermann -- start counting down the days that these rogue attorneys are still allowed by Holder and Obama to remain in office. They should not be accepted as viable chips to be cashed in. America deserves the DOJ attorneys they voted for as part of the package of electing a president.

Obama is letting us down one more way. His defenders say to give him time and that may be a fair request for some things. But he is way past the normal historical time for firing the past administration's attorneys. There's no excuse, no justification that is tolerable. They have to go.

The fruit is rotten, moldy and reeking, crawling with maggots and here, in late August, it is only going to get worse. The Rove-vetted, Bush appointed DOJ attorneys should be fired before the congress returns. Cyril Wecht suggests that the ones Rove had fired should be re-hired. They proved their integrity by refusing to serve their partisan bosses.