Posted Jun 16, 2007 03:27 am CDT
Another Justice Department aide with a link to the controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys as part of an alleged political purge has resigned.
Mike Elston, chief of staff for departing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is leaving in a week to join a Washington, D.C., law firm. He is the fifth department official to resign since March, in the midst of an investigation by the Democrat-controlled Congress, reports Reuters.
At this point, almost every member of the group that oversaw the U.S. attorney dismissals is now gone, except for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, says Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., an outspoken critic of the AG’s performance in office. “Alberto Gonzales appears to be the last man standing but he should have been the first to go.”
President George W. Bush and Gonzales say mistakes were made in the manner in which the dismissals were handled, but continue to defend the firings as justified. All nine of the U.S. attorneys at issue were Bush appointees.