While discussing the U.S. attorney firings on ABC's World News, Charles Gibson suggested that the administration did nothing wrong, given the president's authority to fire U.S. attorneys at will. Legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg concurred, adding that the only "problem" is that "the White House hasn't been forthcoming with how this whole plan began." But both Gibson and Greenburg miss the central issues raised by this scandal, which involve allegations of unethical conduct by Republican members of Congress and charges that a former high-ranking Justice Department official violated federal law by knowingly allowing DOJ officials to give false information to Congress.
Commenting on Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) alleged involvement in the firing of U.S. attorney David Iglesias, National Journal's Stuart Taylor Jr. said he "doubt[s] that there'll be anything discrediting to Senator Domenici," ignoring Domenici's reversal on his contact with Iglesias. Taylor also asserted that Joseph Wilson "was not very well qualified" to investigate whether Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger.
Mara Liasson falsely claimed that the Bush administration's "interim" U.S. attorney appointees "couldn't stay there" without Senate confirmation. In fact, a law enacted as part of the renewal of the USA Patriot Act does allow an "interim" U.S. attorney to serve indefinitely without Senate confirmation.
In their reports on Sen. Pete Domenici's acknowledgement that he had called former New Mexico U.S. attorney David Iglesias in October 2006 to ask about the status of an investigation into a Democratic state senator, The New York Times and National Public Radio did not mention Domenici's original claim that he "ha[d] no idea" what Iglesias was "talking about."