We’re All Paying for Alberto Gonzales

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


McClatchy reports the Justice Department will foot the bill for a private attorney to defend former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against charges—brought by a former DOJ official, of all people—that he politicized hiring and firing within the department during his stint as the Feds’ top litigator.

Even though an attorney from the DOJ’s civil division could have represented Gonzales, he requested the department pay double for a private attorney:

According to a person with knowledge of the case, the Justice Department has imposed a limit of $200 an hour or $24,000 a month on attorneys’ fees. Top Justice Department attorneys generally earn no more than $100 per hour.

So, basically, the taxpayers are bailing out a man who oversaw a department that completely undermined its own credibility and objectivity by actively seeking to tear the blindfold from justice. I want to call it ironic, but epic farce describes it better. —Steve Aquino

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest