Republicans Following Clinton Model?
The topic at hand is the controversy over the Harriet Miers nomination but it seems to apply to the Novak-Plame-Rove-Libby flap as well. Andy McCarthy notes that some Republicans are now trying to muddy the reputation of special investigator Pat Fitzgerald.
Pat Fitzgerald is the best prosecutor I have ever seen. By a mile. He is also the straightest shooter I have ever seen Ã¢€“ by at least that much. And most importantly, he is a good man.
This investigation has gone on for 22 months. Most of the evidence was collected before autumn 2004 Ã¢€“ the last year of delay has mainly been caused by reporters challenging subpoenas in the federal courts.
If Pat were political Ã¢€“ or, worse, if he somehow had it in for the Bush administration Ã¢€“ it was fully within his power to return indictments in the weeks before the November elections, which would almost certainly have cinched things for Senator Kerry. It is something, I am quite certain, it would never even have occurred to him to do. The only thing the guy I know would do is bring charges or close the case without charges when the facts of the investigation warranted doing so.
The man’s reputation is unblemished. Republicans would do well to wait to see whether indictments are issued and then to assess them on their merits, rather than engaging in preemptive ad hominem attacks on the messenger. It was unseemly for Democrats to attack Kenneth Starr, also a fine man, for doing his job and we should not follow suit.
The job of special investigators/prosecutors is thankless, in that half the country will automatically vehemently object to any action they take. To the extent that there is a question about the person’s integrity, it should be addressed at the outset. Once the investigation is underway, absent compelling new evidence of wrongdoing, the focus should be on the facts of the case.