AGAG Says “Good Job”–but about What?

Al Kamen chronicles the latest joy-ridden interaction between Alberto Gonzales and Patrick Fitzgerald.

In the Justice Department‘s Great Hall (the very room where giant, blue drapes covered the underdressed statuary during John Ashcroft‘s tenure as attorney general), an array of prosecutors, securities regulators and FBI honchos gathered yesterday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force.

Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who famously prosecuted former vice presidential aide Scooter Libby, was chatting with a pair of reporters about his upcoming appearance on the National Public Radio program "Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!" when none other than Attorney General Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales appeared at his side.

"Good job," Gonzales said, extending his hand to Fitzgerald. Must havebeen thinking of Fitzgerald’s office’s successful prosecution last weekof media mogul Conrad Black for fraud, obstruction, etc. Fitzgerald, taken aback, didn’t say much in response, our colleague Carrie Johnson reports.

I suppose the context–an event on Corporate Fraud might support the explanation that AGAG was complimenting Fitzgerald on his successful prosecution of Conrad Black. But that’s not the only thing Fitzgerald has done in the last few weeks that might please Bush’s Fredo. After all, in an attempt to salvage some modicum of punishment for Libby’s obstruction, Fitzgerald argued in support of Fred Fieldings’ interpretation of Bush’s commutation order: that Libby should proceed immediately to supervised detention. No doubt the Bush Administration wanted to ensure they could wave around that "punishment" so as to stave off further pressure for their Get Out of Jail Free card. So it’s possible that Gonzales was complimenting Fitzgerald for fulfilling his bitter duty in arguing for supervised release.

Who knows? With these thugs, such a slap in the face would be par for the course.

  1. Anonymous says:

    his upcoming appearance on the National Public Radio program â€Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!â€

    I love Patrick Fitzgerald.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A whole lot of people in Canada love Patrick Fitzgerald.

    To be fair, I believe we should also be applauding a young prosecutor called Julie Ruder, who made a fine closing argument at the Black trial.

  3. oldtree says:

    Is Pat just a republican that had to do a dirty job that they had the fix in for? If I were a more suspicious person, I would say, are you kidding? under total control of the justice department, where he almost certainly had to share his information with Abu, and thus it was passed directly to the defense?
    let us all stop being naive about this country having one set of laws

  4. John B. says:

    oh, I don’t know. It has one set of laws for some people, and one set of laws for some others…

  5. Neil says:

    oldtree, IMO I’m convinced that Fitz stands on principle rather than be compromised by unethical pressure from any source. Similarly, I am confident he puts the law before politics and any other consideration. He believes in the rule of law and the principle of justice without fear or favor. There is evidence that those who put politics ahead of justice in the Bush administration wanted to get rid of him. They were not stupid enough to do so while he was investigating OVP in the CIA leak case. Fitz’s investigation posed a threat to BushCo because Fitz is superbly effective and principled, and because he does not allow his political beliefs to figure his work as a prosecutor.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Who knows what Gonzales meant. One thing is sure, if you asked Albertoad to clarify what he meant, he would respond â€I don’t have any recollection of thatâ€.

  7. knut wicksell says:

    Gonzales was just making noise with his mouth. It was hard not to say something in the circumstances.