Senators Ask SG Clement to Appoint a Special Prosecutor

Four Senators have written a stong letter (.pdf, also available in plain text) to Solicitor General Paul Clement asking him to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate whether Gonzales has committed perjury or obstruction of justice.

This puts Clement — often mentioned as a straight-arrow choice if the GOP ever gets another Supreme Court nomination — in the hot seat.

(I hear Patrick Fitzgerald just finished a couple of big trials, so I imagine he's available.)

I'm not entirely clear why Clement who, as Solicitor General is, I thought, only #4 in the DoJ pecking order, is acting AG for matters for which Gonzales is recused. Is it because there is currently no confirmed #2 or #3, or has the pecking order changed?

Update: Transcript of the press conference announcing the letter, in which Senator Russ Feingold says, “Based on what we know and the evidence about what happened in terms of the gang of eight and what he said in that sworn testimony in the committee, I believe it's perjury.”

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One Response to Senators Ask SG Clement to Appoint a Special Prosecutor

  1. Steve Vladeck says:

    My understanding is that the top two guys (Gonzales and McNulty) have both recused, and the #3 guy is only “acting,” and so doesn’t have the authority to do anything formally. Hence, it falls to Clement.

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