The U.S. Attorney Controversy

Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group

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Each day brings added controversy over the recent dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. Congressional oversight hearings in both chambers seem inevitable, and the scope of those hearings, including the extent of testimony by key Administration staffers, is being hotly debated. Was the President entitled to dismiss the U.S. Attorneys? Are there any limitations on the Executive's authority over the employment status of political appointees? Is the answer different if the U.S. Attorney at issue is currently leading, has decided not to pursue, or has recently concluded a politically-sensitive criminal investigation? How and by whom should the limits of Congressional oversight and Executive Privilege be determined? Our panel of experts will examine these and other important questions.

Panelists include:

  • Mr. Mark Agrast, Center for American Progress
  • Mr. Andrew McCarthy, National Review Online and former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Prof. Jonathan Turley, George Washington School of Law
  • Mr. M. Edward Whelan III, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Mr. Leonard A. Leo, The Federalist Society (Moderator)