Setting the bar low

The president says his attorney general "broke no law."

Published April 23, 2007 2:55PM (EDT)

George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2001: "Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourself not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity."

George W. Bush, April 23, 2007: "The attorney general went up [to Capitol Hill] and gave a very candid assessment and answered every question he could possibly answer, honestly answer, in a way that increased my confidence in his ability to do the job. One of the things that's important for the American people to understand is that the attorney general has a right to recommend to me to replace U.S. attorneys. U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. We have named them, and I have the right to replace them with somebody else. And as the investigation and the hearings went forward, it was clear that the attorney general broke no law, did no wrongdoing. Some senators didn't like his explanation, but he answered as honestly as he could. This is an honest and honorable man in whom I have confidence."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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