| I'm not seeing a whole lot about Bill Mercer's role in this whole U.S. Attorneys scandal in the local papers, which is too bad, because it's a good story, it has a local hook, and frankly, I don't have the time to look into it.
I'm following the story as much as I can at TPM, which has done great work on the issue. As they are making clear, heads are going to roll over this one.
At least in some way, one of those heads is Bill Mercer, I would think. He's #3 at Justice, but he hasn't been confirmed for that position by the Senate yet. Prosecutors are on record saying that he fired them in order to pad the resumes of political appointees. The public justifications being used to fire other U.S. Attorneys have actually been leveled at Mercer by none other than a federal judge in his jurisdiction, who has called for Mercer to resign (a rather unusual step, I might add).
Here's the thing, if the Senate confirms him to the more senior Justice position, I think he has to leave his current (second) job as U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana. Call me crazy, but with the Senate up in arms over the DOJ's handling of this, I don't see him getting confirmed. So that's probably not his way out of being U.S. Attorney here in Montana. More seriously, though, as the digging goes deeper, Mercer might be an easy person for the Bush Administration to cut loose in an effort to protect Gonzales and Miers. He might also end up getting ousted as part of a larger purging at the top of DOJ to finally get past this.
Or, if Gonzales resigns or is (imagine this) impeached, a new A.G. may clean out the department and ask others involved in this escapade to tender their resignations.
Predicting the Bush Administration is never easy. They may simply lock up again. Unfortunately for them, Dems have Congress now and locking up will be tougher than it was before.