Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Playing "Survivor" At DOJ

Who will be the last contestant left on the island?

Paul J. McNulty, a career Republican operative who rose to the No. 2 spot at the Department of Justice, announced his resignation Monday in the midst of the widening scandal over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

His exit marks the fourth resignation since the matter became public this year. It is all the more dramatic because of his high rank — deputy attorney general — in the Bush administration.

McNulty has admitted misleading Congress about the reasons for the dismissals. Though he maintained he was out of the loop about the terminations, documents showed he attended a crucial meeting with Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales and others to review a final list of prosecutors to be fired. ...

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said he hoped McNulty would return to Capitol Hill to explain more about the firings.

"Mr. McNulty's resignation is a sign that top-level administration at the Justice Department may be crumbling under the pressure of ongoing revelations, and what is yet to be disclosed," Conyers said.

McNulty's resignation letter (PDF)

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