A senior Justice Department official, who did not know of Gonzales's delegation of authority until contacted by National Journal, said that it posed a serious threat to the integrity of the criminal-justice system because it gave Sampson, Goodling, and the White House control over the hiring of senior officials in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, which oversees all politically sensitive public corruption cases, at the same time that they held authority to hire and fire U.S. attorneys.So now, every single appointment in the DoJ since March 2006 (at least) is suspect and should be investigated by Congress.
And the biggest question of all is - who at the White House had the bright idea of politicizing the entire Department of Justice?
Update Via Nico at Think Progress - Sen. Leahy is already on the case, firing off a demand that the DoJ turn over the secret order and any related documents PDQ. Leahy's statement says, in part:
This development is highly troubling in what it seems to reveal about White House politicization of key appointees in the Department of Justice. The mass firing of U.S. attorneys appeared to be part of a systematic scheme to inject political influence into the hiring and firing decisions of key justice employees. This secret order would seem to be evidence of an effort to hardwire control over law enforcement by White House political operatives.This one just keeps getting deeper and more filled with crocodiles for the Bushies, doesn't it?