RUSH: Now, here’s this Washington Post story today that Diane Sawyer and Harry Smith cited, and this story was written specifically for the Drive-Bys to give them something to go out and ask these White House people about. The headline is: ‘Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case — The leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted a landmark lawsuit against tobacco companies said yesterday that Bush administration political appointees repeatedly ordered her to take steps that weakened the government’s racketeering case. Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s office began micromanaging the team’s strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government’s claim that the industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers. ‘ The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said,’ Eubanks said. ‘And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public.’
‘Eubanks, who served for 22 years as a lawyer at Justice, said three political appointees were responsible for the last-minute shifts in the government’s tobacco case in June 2005: then-Associate Attorney General Robert D. McCallum, then-Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and Keisler’s deputy at the time, Dan Meron.’ Now, the story prints out to two pages. If you read the entire story (and we will link to it at RushLimbaugh.com), you will conclude the entire premise of this story makes no sense, and you will see that there was no political pressure. But you have to read to the end of the story to get that. There was a legitimate debate about how the government should proceed in this tobacco trial — and then the Drive-Bys, the Post, went out there and they found this one guy who had sour grapes (and this one guy might have even contacted them to get the story generated).
RUSH: The Washington Post with a warning today, in an editorial, to both the White House and the Democrats, but this is a warning that goes primarily to the Congress. ‘Political Spectacle,’ is the title here. Let me just sum up their editorial. There’s no evidence that any firing of these eight US attorneys obstructed a corruption investigation. There is no evidence. There was no crime in firing these people. Even the Washington Post now says that there’s no evidence that any of these firings obstructed a corruption investigation. They also say in the Washington Post editorial that the Bush administration’s executive privilege concerns are legitimate. The solution proposed by the Washington Post is to have Attorney General Gonzales head up there and testify and have Rove give a briefing. ‘Lawmakers would do well to demonstrate more understanding of the legitimate institutional concerns at stake here — is the president not entitled to confidential advice on personnel matters? — and to remember that the tables could easily be turned, as they were not so many years ago, with a Republican Congress eager to rifle through the files of a Democratic administration.’
So the thing the Post says (I’m sure they know it. They just don’t reference it here), is that Democrats understand the legitimate institutional concerns at stake here. They couldn’t care less about it! They want Karl Rove. They want subpoenas primarily not because they know there’s been a crime. They want subpoenas so that they can set a perjury trap for both Harriet Miers and Karl Rove, à la Patrick Fitzgerald in the Libby case or the Plame leak case or what have you. The way to look at this is, what if Bush sent requests to Patrick Leahy: ‘I want your staff to come up here. I want to talk to your number one legislative aide on the Judiciary Committee. I want to find out just who you’ve been coordinating with to destroy the lives and careers of my judicial nominees.’
Can you imagine the hubbub? Can you imagine the anger that old Senator Depends would erupt with? That’s the equivalent of what’s happening here, because there has been no crime and — as the Washington Post points out, ladies and gentlemen — no evidence that any of the firings obstructed a corruption investigation, particularly corruption investigations of Republicans. The best evidence of that is look at [Former Republican Congressman] Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham. That US attorney was under the gun, and where’s Cunningham? Convicted and in jail!