Charges may result from firings, say two former U.S. attorneys
Two former U.S. attorneys said today they believe ongoing investigations into the dismissals last year of eight federal prosecutors could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials.And this is interesting, shortly after Alberto Gonzales became Attorney General John McKay saw some warning signs.
John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, and David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico, also said they believe White House political operative Karl Rove and his aides instigated the dismissals and ultimately decided who among the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys should be fired.
McKay and Iglesias, who were among those fired, made their assertions during a meeting this morning with Seattle Times editors and reporters. The two are scheduled to appear this afternoon along with Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for Arizona, during a public-policy forum on the dismissals at Seattle University's School of Law.
"I think there will be a criminal case that will come out of this," McKay said during his meeting with Times journalists. "This is going to get worse, not better."
McKay said he began to have concerns about politics entering the Justice Department in early 2005, when Gonzales addressed all of the country's U.S. attorneys in Scottsdale, Ariz., shortly after he took over as attorney general.I guess these Republican attorneys had not been paying much attention to the White House before - nothing they do doesn't involve politics and loyalty.
"His first speech to us was a 'you work for the White House' speech," McKay recalled. " 'I work for the White House, you work for the White House.' "
McKay said he thought at the time, "He couldn't have meant that speech," given the traditional independence of U.S. Attorneys. "It turns out he did."
He looked around the meeting room and caught the eyes of his colleagues, who gave him looks of surprise at Gonzales' remarks. "We were stunned at what he was saying."