The E-mail Gap: Selective Disclosure

Josh Marshall and his TPM team have been the driving force in the reporting of the prosecutor purge scandal. Josh broke the news early this morning that there may have been an 18 day gap between November 15 and December 4:

The firing calls went out on December 7th. But the original plan was to start placing the calls on November 15th. So those eighteen days are pretty key ones.

But not fast as there were a few emails from this period as reported here:

In a frank e-mail exchange, Brent Ward complained to senior Justice Department officials about resistance from several U.S. Attorneys to prosecuting obscenity cases. Those complaints apparently contributed to the later, now controversial firings of prosecutors Daniel Bogden in Nevada and Paul Charlton in Arizona. Ward, the head of a federal obscenity task force, wrote that the opposition was eroding interest from the FBI and jeopardizing the still-fledgling initiative. The former U.S. Attorney in Utah went so far as to ask Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to weigh in and order the prosecutors to pursue the cases. Ward’s complaints later were cited as a reason for the terminations of Bogden and Charlton, according to a trove of documents the Justice Department has turned over to Congress.

Is this Salt Lake Tribune reporter being gullible? I smell a rat. Our friends at ThinkProgress must be smelling the same rat:

it makes sense that the administration would include this set of emails and apparently virtually nothing else from that 18-day-gap, since the emails from Ward bolster the administration’s case that the firings were based on performance-related concerns.

How stupid does George Bush think we are!