During an event this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Alberto Gonzales launched an unabashed and shameless finger-pointing campaign at outgoing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, blaming him for the U.S. attorney scandal.
Minimizing his own role, Gonzales said McNulty has “most of the operational authority and decisions” at the Department of Justice.
Gonzales gestures to the man who made him do such bad bad things:
Oops, sorry. Wrong bad guy:
Right back atcha, Gonzo!
Update 5/'16: Paul Kiel of TPM Muckraker reminds us that there is enough blame to spread around. McNulty was a passive drone rather than a leader and he did what he was told to do:
Gonzales' appalling dereliction of duty has tended to obscure McNulty's appalling dereliction of duty. It shouldn't. There's plenty of blame to go around.
Here, for instance, is how McNulty's predecessor, James Comey, described the duties of the deputy attorney general:"I was the direct supervisor of all the U.S. attorneys, and so dealt with them quite frequently on a variety of matters: resolving disputes, talking with them about resources, trying to support them in any way that I could."
"Trying to support them in any way that I could."
By contrast, we have a deputy attorney general who allowed himself to be steamrolled by his inferiors to fire eight U.S. attorneys for, in most cases, no apparent reason. And then after that was done, he helped smear their reputations in order to cover for the Department and the administration.