So, it's been clear for a while that Ashcroft's style leans towards the imperial presidency. The new surprise is that he has a particular emperor in mind: Nero.
Our Attorney General has taken to beginning meetings by having DOJ staff sing the patriotic song he wrote, "Let the Eagle Soar". Employees interviewed by the BBC don't object on principle, so much as to the practical details. "Have you heard the song?", asks one. "It really sucks."
So, on Ashcroft's view, responding to Congressional oversight is not a proper use of DOJ employees' time. Now we know what is.
Ashcroft has apparently been flogging this song since at least early 2000, when he recited the lyrics as a poem at the Conservative Political Action Conference. But then, he didn't have a captive audience. Which, by the way, he's looking to expand --- the call is out within the DOJ for volunteers to translate the thing into Spanish.