Sounds good, right?
Well, the prosecutor:
- "will not serve as a special prosecutor such as Patrick Fitzgerald, who operated autonomously" (AP)
- There's nothing really "outside" about [prosecutor] John Dunham. He's a career DOJ prosecutor, the number two official in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut. . . ." (former DOJ official Marty Lederman, )
- The prosecutor "will report to the deputy attorney general", acting Deputy attorney general Craig Morford (Washington Post)
- The prosecutor will lack independence, contrary to the Justice Department's own regulations:
"While I certainly agree that these matters warrant an immediate criminal investigation, it is disappointing that the Attorney General has stepped outside the Justice Department's own regulations and declined to appoint a more independent special counsel in this matter. . . .Bottom line: Just another whitewash.
The Justice Department's record over the past seven years of sweeping the administration's misconduct under the rug has left the American public with little confidence in the administration's ability to investigate itself. Nothing less than a special counsel with a full investigative mandate will meet the tests of independence, transparency and completeness. Appointment of a special counsel will allow our nation to begin to restore our credibility and moral standing on these issues." (House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers)
Note: Hat tip to Salon for its many useful updates.