The U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department last year describe their former leaders at the Department of Justice and the White House as "selfish," "self-serving" and "inept" in written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.
Their scathing chorus of opinion is especially striking when one considers that all of the federal prosecutors were appointed by President Bush.
Some of the most vivid stories come from Bud Cummins of Arkansas. Cummins describes his replacement, former White House aide Tim Griffin, bragging, "They are going to use the Patriot Act to appoint me."
Cummins wrote, "He said that there was a provision in the Patriot Act that nobody knew about that would enable them to appoint him in a way he could stay in place throughout President Bush's administration with or without Senate confirmation."
A month later, top Justice official Michael Elston assured Cummins that every replacement U.S. attorney would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
"I told him if that was the case, then he had better gag Tim Griffin," Cummins says.
To the question "Did you ever receive a warning from the Justice Department that your office's priorities would result in your being asked to resign?" all of the six replied, "No."
The correspondence came out from the House Judiciary Committee, which asked the fired prosecutors written questions after their live testimony earlier this year.
Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy sent out a subpoena demanding that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hand over any e-mails from White House political adviser Karl Rove about the U.S. attorney firings.
The White House says some of those e-mails may have been deleted, but the Justice Department might have them from an earlier investigation of White House aide Lewis "scooter" Libby.
The subpoena, the first that Leahy has issued in the controversy, gives the attorney general two weeks to deliver the documents.