March 14, 2007

In The Line Of Firing

Tsk tsk:
Gonzales earlier accepted the resignation of his top aide, Kyle Sampson. Authorities said that Sampson failed to brief other senior Justice Department officials of his discussions about the firings with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers.

E-mail correspondence between Sampson and Miers indicate they began two years ago to consider individual U.S. attorneys for possible dismissal. As the list took shape, their correspondence indicated possible political backlash from the attorneys and their congressional allies.

In a Sept 13, 2006, e-mail to Miers, Sampson listed one prosecutor, Bud Cummins (nyse: CMI - news - people ) in Little Rock,Ark., "in the process of being pushed out." Five other prosecutors - in Arizona, Nevada, Grand Rapids, Mich., San Diego and Seattle - were listed as U.S attorneys "we should now consider pushing out."

Four days later, Miers responded: "Kyle, thanks for this. I have not forgotten I need to follow up on the info but things have been crazy."

But nearly three months later, the Justice Department was still waiting for White House approval for the firings. "Still waiting for green light from White House," Sampson wrote in a Dec. 2, 2006, e-mail to Michael Elston, the top aide to McNulty.

The White House responded shortly thereafter.

"We're a go for the US Atty plan," deputy White House counsel William K. Kelley wrote in a Dec. 4, 2006, e-mail to Sampson and Miers. "WH leg, political, communications have signed off and acknowledged that we have to be committed to following through once the pressure comes."

The term "WH leg" refers to the White House office of legislative affairs, which deals with Congress.
Don't foret that Harriet Miers was nominated by Bush for the Supreme Court. And Rove was in deep:
In one of the emails to be released today, Sampson wrote that getting Griffin appointed was "important to Harriet, Karl, etc."


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