Final Ruling

U.S. Attorney Firings Not Criminal

The Department of Justice ruled Wednesday that the Bush administration’s firing of nine attorneys was inappropriately political, but not a crime. Investigators looked into whether the 2006 firings—particularly that of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias—had been part of the administration’s efforts to have a hand in criminal cases. The ensuing scandal led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and in 2008, the DOJ began to investigate. The DOJ’s ruling ends one of the major disputes of the Bush administration, in which Democrats had long claimed the firings were evidence of GOP wrongdoings while Republicans said the Democrats were creating the controversy. Prosecutors also said there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with lying to Congress, another charge levied against the Bush administration in the case.