Thursday, March 22, 2007

McKay touted for judgeship before firing

SEATTLE --A month before putting Washington state's U.S. attorney on a list of prosecutors to be fired, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' chief deputy tried to help him win a federal judgeship, newly released documents show.

In an e-mail sent Aug. 8 to an associate White House counsel, Gonzales' chief of staff at the time, Kyle Sampson, said prosecutor John McKay had been treated unfairly by Washington's judicial selection commission. He asked if McKay could be considered for the federal bench "along with the recommended candidates."

Sampson also pointed out that McKay had strong support from the state's Democratic senators and two prominent state Republicans. He said he received the information from Debra Yang, then the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

A month later, on Sept. 13, McKay's name appeared on Sampson's list of U.S. attorneys "we should consider pushing out." He was among eight U.S. attorneys fired by the end of the year, an action that has raised the ire of Democratic lawmakers suspicious of the motives of the administration and anxious to question top aides to President Bush.

No comments: