Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rep. John Doolittle: Justice Department staffers 'doing what they want to do.'

WASHINGTON -- A week ago, Rep. John Doolittle suggested the FBI raided his Virginia home so that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would appear tough on Republicans as he faced congressional grilling over alleged partisan motives in firing eight federal prosecutors.

In a telephone press conference Friday, Doolittle said he still believes the April 13 search of his Oakton, Va., home -- and its disclosure -- were about rehabilitating the reputation of President Bush's attorney general. Yet he said it wasn't the Republicans trying to help Gonzales -- it was the Democrats.

He blamed Democratic staffers in the Justice Department for going after him in a politically driven "Republican culture of corruption" campaign.

And he said it would be wrong to conclude from his earlier statements that he thought Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Gonzales or any other Republican was behind a plot to pump up Gonzales.

"I never believed it was any of those people," he said. "I really believe that what's going on at the Justice Department is that you've got an embattled attorney general. I don't believe they are basically in control of their own department. I think that you've pretty much got a situation where the inmates are running the institution."....

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