From what I recall, the statues were covered because they were becoming a distraction as juuvenile press photographers were going out of their way to include the naked statues in pictures of Ashcroft as an attempt to mock his religious beliefs. They could only get away with somethhing like that because they were mocking Christians.
the statue was already covered by Janet Reno before he arrived.
It wasn't a case of juvenile behavior, though. These guys want to kill your babies, take away your cigarettes, and now steal your home and toss you in the street.
First the breasts, and now the world.
They weren't "mocking Christians", they might have been mocking Ashcroft, who came across as somewhat straitlaced, or at least they were trying to create an ironic image.
The reporters weren't the only ones who gave Ashcroft a hard time. I recently read the following story: When Ashcroft first started working in the justice department, long before he became attorney general, he had a boss who relentlessly ridiculed his uptight attitude. The boss was Clarence Thomas.