Washington, DC (Rotters) – Before jury selection in the I Lewis “Scooter” Libby trial could be completed early this morning, the staff of US Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced that he had been dismissed by the Bush Administration. Fitzgerald became the twelfth US Attorney to be suddenly dismissed by the Bush Administration in the last few weeks. The Bush Administration appeared to be taking advantage of a clause hidden within the Patriot Act which allowed the President to make indefinite interim appointments to the positions without going through congressional confirmation. California Senator Dianne Feinstein had complained on the senate floor on Tuesday, arguing that the recent dismissal of two California attorneys was politically motivated.
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales expressed surprise and concern at the allegations of administration impropriety. “I had a good talk with Patrick, and I am not at liberty to go into specifics,” stated Gonzales, “but I can say that some small degree of burn-out might have been involved in his decision to step down. This in no way prohibits Scooter’s case from going forward, and in fact we are anticipating a rapid resolution… I will be personally taking this one on to ensure that justice is done.”
President Bush met with Libby in the Oval office early this morning in an attempt to diffuse controversy over the development. It was reportedly the first meeting between the two since Libby resigned over his role in the Valerie Plame affair. White House sources stated that the President assured Libby justice would be as swift as possible, and pardoned him for any inconvenience that Fitzgerald’s dismissal had caused.