Attorney General Michael Mukasey cares more about politics than justice, editorializes the New York Times. Speaking yesterday to the American Bar Association, Mukasey described the politicization of the Justice Department hiring under predecessor Alberto Gonzales as a “painful” episode in which “the system failed.” The Times says there is
strong reason to believe that Gonzales and other top presidential aides they were involved in plans to fire U.S. attorneys for political reasons, fill other important positions on the basis of partisanship rather than competence, and order prosecutions designed to help Republicans win elections.
In the Times’s view, Mukasey's “cynical remarks shrugging off the whole scandal should prod Congress to pursue it even more vigorously.” Mukasey told the ABA he did not see any crimes to prosecute. “Not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime,” he said. In any case, the wrongdoers have been punished, he said, by “substantial negative publicity.” The Times notes that it opposed Mukasey's confirmation “because we feared that he would worry more about defending the Bush administration than enforcing the law.”