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New Report Shows No Precedent for Mass U.S. Attorney Firings

Press release: “Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) released a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report [U.S. Attorneys Who Have Served Less than Full Four-year Terms, 1981-2006, February 22, 2007] showing the recent firing of seven U.S. Attorneys is unprecedented. Conyers and Sanchez requested the study, which found that since 1981, during a president’s initial term in office of the 486 confirmed U.S. Attorneys appointments, no more than three U.S. Attorneys had beenforced out under similar circumstances. Because the Administration has refused to cooperate with CRS in their examination, they have not yet obtained all the available data on U.S. Attorney firings and their examination is ongoing. However, there is little doubt that the recent batch of dismissals goes well beyond previous experiences…The non-partisan CRS study found that of the 486 U.S. Attorneys confirmed during an initial presidential term, 54 U.S. Attorneys left voluntarily before completing a full four year term since 1981. Of those, 17 left to become federal judges; 15 went back to private law practice; six left to take other Executive branch positions; two left to seek elective office; two left to work in state government; and, one additional left to become a U.S. Magistrate judge. Of the remaining eight attorneys, five resigned or were fired in the midst of scandals, meaning that in sum total, no more than three U.S. Attorneys were forced out under similar circumstances to the present.”

  • Related news, Washington Post – Information, Please – Watchdog Groups, Some Lawmakers Say Congressional Reports Should Be Made Public, February 19, 2007
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