US Attorney purge timeline

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Contents

2001

October 2001

October 11, 2001

  • Todd Graves is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri.

October 18, 2001

  • David Iglesias is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.

October 24, 2001

  • John McKay is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Western Washington.

November 2001

November 2, 2001

  • Margaret Chiara is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Western Michigan.
  • Daniel Bogden is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Nevada.

November 14, 2001

  • Paul Charlton is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Arizona.

2002

January 2002

January 9, 2002

  • Bud Cummins is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Eastern Arkansas.

August 2002

August 2, 2002

  • Kevin Ryan is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Northern California.

November 2002

November 8, 2002

  • Carol Lam is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Southern California.

2003

September 2003

September 5, 2003

  • The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel describes the trick of combining a 210-day presidential acting appointment with a 120-day Attorney General interim appointment to install a replacement US attorney for 330 days without Senate confirmation. (DOJ opinion; Boston Globe)

2004

Early 2004

  • David Ayres (John Ashcroft's Chief of Staff) asks James Comey for a list of weak U.S. Attorneys. Kevin Ryan is the only now-fired USA on the list. (US News)

November 2004

November 2, 2004

  • Gubernatorial election.

After the elections

  • Ed Cassidy, chief of staff for Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA), contacts U.S. Attorney John McKay (WA). Cassidy asks whether McKay will pursue investigations of voter fraud. McKay will later testify "I stopped him and I told him that I was sure that he wasn't asking me on behalf of his boss to reveal information about an ongoing investigation or to lobby me on one, because we both knew that would be improper. He agreed that it would be improper and ended the conversation in a most expeditious fashion." (McKay testimony; Seattle Times; TPMMuck)

2005

January 2005

January 6, 2005

  • Karl Rove stops by to ask White House deputy counsel David Leitch "how we planned to proceed regarding U.S. Attorneys, whether we were going to allow all to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them or selectively replace them, etc."
  • Leitch emails Kyle Sampson at the DOJ. Leitch relays to Sampson the questions from Rove. (DOJ docs)

January 9, 2005

  • Kyle Sampson responds to David Lietch's email, "we would like to replace 15-20 percent of the current U.S. Attorneys... The vast majority of the U.S. Attorneys, 80-85 percent, I would guess, are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies, etc." Sampson concludes the email saying, "[I]f Karl thinks there would be political will to do it, then so do I." (DOJ docs)

February 2005

  • White House counsel Harriet Miers writes to Kyle Sampson about whether to replace all 93 U.S. Attorneys. (WaPo)

February 3, 2005

February 15, 2005

  • Kyle Sampson moves with Gonzales from the White House to DOJ. (DOJ)

February 24, 2005

  • Kyle Sampson makes a list of thirteen U.S. attorneys recommended for removal. He sends the list to the White House in early March. (WaPo)

February 28, 2005

March 2005

  • Kyle Sampson recommends removal of John McKay because of conflicts over the investigation of the 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Tom Wales. (WaPo)

March 2, 2005

  • 5:46 p.m. - Kyle Sampson sends an email to Harriet Miers, ranking all U.S. Attorneys. Among the criteria is "loyalty to the President and Attorney General." U.S. Attorney David Iglesias (NM) appears on the list as "recommended retaining." (DOJ docs)
  • 9:49 p.m. - Sampson sends a revised list to Miers, with Steven Biskupic and another attorney added. Sampson says he added them "based on some additional information I got tonight".

April 2005

April 21, 2005

  • In remarks at a United States Attorneys Conference in Scottsdale Arizona, Alberto Gonzales tells the attorneys "I work for the White House, you work for the White House." (Seattle Times)

Coral Quiet from Scottsdale AZ

April 24, 2005

  • DOJ official Kyle Sampson refers to purged attorney David Iglesias as a "diverse up-and-comer; solid." (DOJ docs)

June 2005

June 3, 2005

  • Mary Beth Buchanan sends Daniel Bogden a letter commending his recent performance evaluation.

June 12, 2005

  • A front-page story in The San Diego Union Tribune reveals that defense contractor Michael Wade paid an inflated price for Rep. Duke Cunningham's San Diego-area house. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

July 2005

July 5, 2005

  • Businessman Tom McCabe demands of Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) that Hastings urge the White House to fire U.S. Attorney John McKay for not adequately pursuing the voter fraud allegations in the 2004 gubernatorial race. (letter)

September 2005

September 23, 2005

  • Kyle Sampson becomes Alberto Gonzales' chief of staff.
  • Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) contacts Alberto Gonzales to voice concerns about the performance of David Iglesias. Kyle Sampson and William Moschella are listed as in attendance. (WaPo)

October 2005

October 20, 2005

  • Eighteen Republican lawmakers, led by Representative Darrell Issa, (R-CA) sign a letter criticizing Carol Lam's "lax" handling of immigration cases. Duke Cunningham, under investigation for corruption by Lam's office, is listed as a signatory. (DOJ docs)
  • U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Montana writes to Alberto Gonzales, that U.S. Attorney William Mercer is violating federal law because he "no longer resides in Montana" and was living with his family in the Washington area. (WaPo)

November 2005

November 10, 2005

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales writes to a federal judge in Montana, assuring him that U.S. attorney William W. Mercer is not violating federal law by spending most of his time in Washington as a senior Justice Department official. (WaPo)
  • Mercer has a GOP Senate staffer insert into a bill a provision that would change the rules to allow federal prosecutors to live outside their districts to serve in other jobs.

November 11, 2005

  • Assistant Attorney General William Moschella writes to director of the Executive Office for US Attorneys Michael Battle and others that "we support eliminating the court's role" in appointing interim U.S. attorneys, "and believe the AG should have that authority alone."

November 18, 2005

  • David Smith, Legislative Counsel for the Executive Office for US Attorneys, drafts a response to complaints aimed at the office of Carol Lam. Smith writes, "At the close of Fiscal Year 2005, SDCA had 385 alien smuggling cases pending against 454 defendants, which is the highest annual number of cases that office has ever had." He continues, "despite the fact that both the SDCA and the Department of Justice as a whole have numerous criminal priorities in addition to criminal aliens, from Fiscal Year 200 through Fiscal Year 2005, well over half of all criminal cases filed by SDCA were cases filed under just three statutes, the primary criminal alien statutes."

December 2005

December 14, 2005

  • The USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 comes out of conference. At some point during the conference, Brett Tolman, counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, added Section 502. The addition eliminates restrictions on the length of service for interim U.S. attorneys and allows future interim attorneys to serve indefinitely without Senate confirmation.

2006

January 2006

January 1, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson writes Harriet Miers. "You have asked whether President Bush should remove and replace U.S. Attorneys.... I recommend that the Department of Justice and the Office of Counsel to the President work together to seek the replacement of a limited number." (DOJ docs)

Early January

  • Mike Battle calls Todd Graves and tells him to step down from his job. (WaPo; TPM Muck)

January 9, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson emails Harriet Miers, advising against replacing all U.S. Attorneys at once. Instead, Sampson suggests, "a limited number of U.S. Attorneys could be targeted for removal and replacement, mitigating the shock to the system that would result from an across-the-board firing." Sampson includes in the email a list of seven candidates to be considered for removal and replacement. The list includes U.S. Attorneys Margaret Chiara, Bud Cummins, Kevin Ryan, and Carol Lam. All of these attorneys will eventually be fired. (DOC docs)

January 20, 2006

  • H. Marshall Jarrett, the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility, informs senior Justice officials that he has begun an inquiry into the warrantless domestic eavesdropping program. (Murray Waas)

January 24, 2006

  • Mike Battle sends David Iglesias a letter commending his recent performance evaluation. (letter)

January 31, 2006

  • Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) again contacts the office of the Attorney General to voice concerns about the performance of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Kyle Sampson and William Moshella participate in the call.

February 2006

February 7, 2006

  • Alberto Gonzales publishes regulations that change hiring and firing authority within the Department of Justice, and that reserve final authority to the attorney general. (71 FR 6206)

February 12, 2005

  • Monica Goodling sends a spreadsheet of each U.S. Attorney's political activities and memberships in conservative political groups. "This is the chart that the AG requested".

February 14, 2006

  • Tom Heffelfinger resigns as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota.

February 24, 2006

  • Paul Corts, assistant attorney general for administration, informs Alberto Gonzales, "The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) advises that permitting the Attorney General's delegates to approve [some] appointments … would be inconsistent" with the appointments clause of the Constitution. Paul McNulty and the office of the Deputy Attorney General are kept out of the loop on the memo. (Murray Waas)

March 2006

March 1, 2006

  • Alberto Gonzales issues a confidential order, delegating to his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, and his White House liaison "the authority, with the approval of the Attorney General, to take final action in matters pertaining to the appointment, employment, pay, separation, and general administration" of virtually all non-civil-service employees of the Justice Department, including all of the department's political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation. (order; Murray Waas)

March 2, 2006

  • The USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 is passed by the Senate.

March 9, 2006

  • President George Bush signs the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005.

March 10, 2006

  • Todd P. Graves, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announces his resignation. (DOJ)

March 23, 2006

  • Bradley J. Schlozman is appointed to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. (DOJ)

April 2006

April 3 to 5

  • Preparation of talking points and discussion about the Issa letter. (DOJ docs)

April 4, 2006

  • Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) calls the office of the Attorney General for a third time to voice concerns about the performance of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Kyle Sampson, William Moschella and Monica Goodling participate in the call.

April 14, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson publishes a new firing list. Two of the targeted USAs, Heffelfinger and Graves, have already left office. Ryan has been removed from the list.

April 27, 2006

  • Timothy Griffin, former Opposition Research Director for Karl Rove, emails Kyle Sampson. Griffin includes in his email a letter of recommendation from US Attorney Bud Cummins, writing, "Kyle, this might also be helpful. It is a letter written by the current Attorney, E.D. Arkansas, Bud Cummins, to me after my tenure there as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Just thought you should have it. Thank you, Tim."

May 2006

May 5, 2006

  • Porter Goss, director of the CIA, resigns unexpectedly.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo is under investigation as part of the ongoing San Diego/Cunningham scandal. The office overseeing the investigation is that of U.S. Attorney Carol Lam.

May 8, 2006

May 9, 2006

  • Bill Mercer, Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling discuss the open Native American Issues Subcommittee chairmanship.

May 10, 2006

  • Carol Lam informs the Department of Justice that she intends to serve search warrants to Foggo. (US News)

May 11, 2006

  • The LA Times reports that the investigation of Cunningham has expanded to include Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), House Appropriations Committee Chairman.
  • Kyle Sampson emails deputy White House counsel William Kelley: "The real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires."
  • Sampson mentions to Harriet Miers a need to discuss "Tim Griffin for E.D. Ark."

May 12, 2006

May 18, 2006

  • The Associated Press claims that the office of Carol Lam has prosecuted only 6% of 289 suspected immigrant smugglers for that crime in the previous year. The evidence comes from Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), who says it is from an internal Border Patrol report from August.

May 19, 2006

  • The Chief of the US Border Patol, San Diego Sector, tells Carol Lam that the report held by Rep. Issa is an old internal Border Patrol document, relating only to a single substation. The document has been substantially altererd and passed off as an official report. Further, many of the comments to which Rep. Issa referred are "editorial comments inserted by an unidentified individual, and they were not approved by or ever seen by Border Patrol Management." Lam passes these comment along to the Justice Department, saying "In light of previous media interest in this issue there is a possibility that the disclosure that the report is not genuine could generate substantial media interest."
  • Rep. Darrell Issa appears on Lou Dobbs Tonight and decries Lam's immigration record.

May 23, 2006

  • Ronald Tenpas, a Justice attorney in Washington, relays his conversation with Carol Lam to several colleagues. According to Tenpas, "In her view, although the unrebutted criticism is making the Department look bad, she has been sitting quiet rather than attempting to respond publicly....She will do anything else that the DAG would wish, including continuing to stand silent despite the personal criticism to which she thinks she is being subject through these comments."

May 31, 2006

  • In an email, Kyle Sampson asks Bill Mercer, "Has ODAG ever called Carol Lam and woodshedded her re immigration enforcement? Has Anyone?" and "Remember the premise: AG has ordered it."

June 2006

June 5, 2006

  • EOUSA director Mike Battle calls Bud Cummins, asking him to resign. Cummins, in seeking an explanation, paraphrased Battle as saying "This is entirely about the administration's desire to give somebody else the opportunity."
  • William Mercer writes Paul McNulty to discuss publicity around the immigration prosecution records for Southern California. Of the four options, three recommend getting rid of Lam.

June 15, 2006

June 20, 2006

  • Scott Jennings, deputy to Karl Rove, emails the Justice Department's liaison to the White House Monica Goodling. Jennings informs Goodling that Mickey Barnett, the President's nominee for the US Postal Board of Governors, would like to meet, "with someone at DOJ to discuss the USATTY situation there." Goodling agrees to arrange a personal meeting with Barnett because the matter is considered "sensitive".
  • Margaret Chiara meets with Michael Battle regarding her district and the NAIS.

June 21, 2006

  • Mickey Barnett and Pat Rogers, both prominent Republican attorneys in New Mexico, meet with Monica Goodling and Matthew Friedrich to vent frustrations about U.S. Attorney David Iglesias' handling of voter fraud investigations. (DOJ docs; LA Times; CREW)

July 2006

July 8, 2006

  • Bill Mercer excoriates Carol Lam to Michael Elston. (DOJ docs)

August 2006

August 1, 2006

  • Carol Lam meets Rep. Issa for the first time to discuss border investigations.

August 18, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling discuss with Scott Jennings how to bypass the two Arkansas Democratic senators in the replacement of U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins. (DOJ docs)

August 22, 2006

  • John McKay meets with Harriet Miers and William Kelley at the White House Counsel's office. McKay seeks appointment as district judge in Washington. Kelley asks McKay why “Republicans in the state of Washington” are upset with him. (McKay Q&A)

August 23, 2006

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) receives a letter from the Justice Department regarding U.S. Attorney Carol Lam. The letter notes that Lam's office has committed half of her attorneys to pursue criminal immigration cases, satisfying the interests of the Justice Department.

September 2006

September 8, 2006

  • Monica Goodling and Sherry Mahoney work out a plan where Tim Griffin would work at the White House for one day, Sept. 26, and then begin at the DOJ on Sept. 27. (DOJ docs)

September 13, 2006

  • David Iglesias is not included as an attorney to be replaced.
  • Bud Cummins is "in the process of being pushed out."
  • Regarding the larger project of replacing U.S. Attorneys, Sampson writes, "I am in favor of executing on a plan to push some USAs out... I strongly recommend that as a matter of administration, we utilize the new statutory provisions that authorize the AG to make USA appointments." Sampson writes further that by avoiding Senate confirmation, "we can give far less deference to home state senators and thereby get 1.) our preferred person appointed and 2.) do it far faster and more efficiently at less political costs to the White House."

September 20, 2006

  • Brent Ward and Kyle Sampson exchange email about Paul Charlton and Daniel Bogden and unwillingness to prosecute obscenity cases. (Salon; Bogden Q&A, p. 4 of pdf)

September 22, 2006

  • The Department of Justice appointments Jeffrey A. Taylor as interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. This is the first appointment under Patriot Act provisions. (DOJ docs, 2007-03-19 set)

October 2006

October 5, 2006

  • Mike Battle sends U.S attorneys guidance on how to go about resigning.

October 11, 2006

  • President George Bush passes to Alberto Gonzales complaints he has heard that some U.S. Attorneys are not adequately pursuing voter-fraud investigations.

October 16, 2006

  • Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) calls David Iglesias to inquire about possible sealed indictments in the corruption investigation at least one state Democrat.

Late October

  • A few weeks before the midterm election, Repulican lawyer Patrick Rogers invites David Iglesias to lunch. Rogers presses Iglesias on prosection of voter fraud. (LA Times)

October 22, 2006

  • Margaret Chiara writes Bill Mercer to complain that EOUSA has backed out on its promise to fund Leslie Hagen as the primary liaison to NAIS.

October 27, 2006

  • Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) calls David Iglesias at home. Domenici asks to discuss widely reported corruption cases against local Democrats.
  • Margaret Chiara sends a follow-up on October 22 message about NAIS staffing, and Bill Mercer responds. He asks her not to mention this to anyone else: "it would be unfortunate to create an unnecessary stir."

November 2006

November 1, 2006

  • Bradley Schlozman, U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri, announces the indictments of four former ACORN workers for voter fraud. (Boston Globe; TMPMuck)
  • Michael Elston, chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, suggests five additional candidates for firing. (WaPo)
  • John Brownlee (Roanoke, Va.)
  • Christopher J. Christie (Newark, N.J.)
  • Colm F. Connolly (Delaware)
  • Mary Beth Buchanan (Pittsburgh)
  • Frank Maxwell Wood (Macon, Ga.)

November 3, 2006

  • Michael Elston contacts U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara to inform her that the White House will contact her following the upcoming elections to request her resignation. Chiara is given no explanation for the firing.

November 7, 2006

  • Election Day.
  • Rep. Heather Wilson wins reelection by 875 votes.
  • Margaret Chiara emails Paul McNulty: "As soon as the 'election dust settles,' I ask that you tell me why my resignation may be requested"

November 15, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson drafts a detailed "Plan for Replacing Certain United States Attorneys." (DOJ docs)

November 17 to 21, 2006

  • Public affairs specialists Catherine Martin in the White House and Tasia Scolinos in the DOJ discuss the dismissal plan. Scolinos says, "The one common link here is that three of them are along the southern border so you could make the connection that DOJ is unhappy with the immigration prosecution numbers in those districts."

November 27, 2006

December 2006

December 2, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson emails Michael Elston, "[s]till waiting for green light from White House".
  • Sampson and Elston add Kevin Ryan to the list.

December 3, 2006

  • Karl Rove aide Scott Jennings asks Kyle Sampson if he has a list of "all vacant, or about-to-be vacant, US Attorney slots." Sampson offers to send it to him the next day. (DOJ docs)

December 4, 2006

  • Deputy White House Counsel William K. Kelley gives Kyle Sampson the green light from the White House. "WH leg, political, and communications have signed off and acknowledged that we have to be committed to following through once the pressure comes."
  • Kyle Sampson sets the date with Harriet Miers. "We would like to execute this on Thursday, Dec. 7."

December 5, 2006

  • Paul McNulty, Mike Elston, Monica Goodling, and Kyle Sampson hold a 90-second meeting to discuss the Daniel Bogden dismissal, after McNulty says he is "skittish" about it. "When it was pointed out that Bogden was not married, McNulty withdrew his concern and the conversation ended." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

December 7, 2006

  • Attorney purge. Michael Battle, director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, calls seven U.S. Attorneys to ask for their resignations. No attorney is given an explanation of why they have been dismissed.
  • David Iglesias. Battle says "I don’t know and I don’t want to know" the reasons behind the firing. (Iglesias Q&A)
  • Deputy White House counsel William Kelley relays that Senator Domenici staff is "happy as a clam" about the Iglesias firing. (DOJ docs)

December 8 to 13, 2006

December 12, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson twice emails K. Lee, "voicemail response to request for info about Lam". (DOJ withheld docs)

December 15, 2006

  • Alberto Gonzales and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) have a second phone conversation about the Tim Griffin appointment. (DOJ docs; Think Progress; TPMMuck)
  • Timothy Griffin is named as interim U.S. Attorney, succeeding Bud Cummins (AR). (DOJ)
  • Kyle Sampson discusses notifications and issues about the Cummings resignation. (DOJ withheld docs)

December 19, 2006

  • Kyle Sampson exchanges emails with Chris Oprison and Monica Goodling about the replacement of U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins (AR) with Timothy Griffin, former aide to Karl Rove. Griffin's appointment is "important to Harriet, Karl, etc." Of Senators wanting an advise and consent process, "we should gum this to death ... run out the clock." Regarding the new provision in the Patriot Act reauthorization bill, Sampson writes, "[I]f we don't ever exercise it then what's the point of having it?" (DOJ docs)
  • David Iglesias resigns as U.S. Attorney for New Mexico. (Albuquerque Tribune)

December 20, 2006

  • Bud Cummins resigns as U.S. Attorney for Eastern Arkansas.

Late December 2006

  • Allen Weh, New Mexico's Republican party chairman, visits the White House. Weh expresses his frustration with David Iglesias directly to Karl Rove during a holiday party. Weh recalls asking Rove, "Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" According to Weh, Rove responds, "He's gone." (McClatchy)
  • In late December Michael Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, calls U.S. Attorney John McKay (WA). According to McKay, Elston calls to inquire whether McKay will complain publicly about his firing. McKay claims, "He was offering me a deal: you stay silent and the attorney general won't say anything bad about you." Elston acknowledges this call but denies that he expressed any such message.

2007

January 2007

January 4, 2007

January 5, 2007

  • Mike Elston calls Carol Lam. Elston tells Lam she must depart in weeks not months, and that this instruction comes from "the very highest levels of government." (Lam Q&A)

January 7, 2007

  • Kyle Sampson and Harriet Miers trade emails about "processes for filling USA vacancies." Sampson forwards the discussion to Paul McNulty, Michael Elston, William Moschella, and Monica Goodling. (DOJ withheld docs; emptywheel)

January 13, 2007

January 16, 2007

  • Kevin Ryan resigns as U.S. Attorney for Northern California.
  • Carol Lam resigns as U.S. Attorney for Southern California, effective February 15.

January 17, 2007

  • Mike Elston calls Paul Charlton. Charlton says "I believe that Elston was offering me a quid pro quo agreement: my silence in exchange for the Attorney General's." (Charlton Q&A; Murray Waas; TPMMuck)
  • Mike Elston calls John McKay. McKay says "I greatly resented what I felt Mr. Elston was trying to do: buy my silence by promising that the Attorney General would not demean me in his Senate testimony." (McKay Q&A; Murray Waas; emptywheel)

January 18, 2007

  • Alberto Gonzales testifies on a variety of issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He does not deny that several U.S. attorneys have been asked to resign. "[T]he fact that that's happened, quite frankly, some people should view that as a sign of good management." (TPMMuck)
  • Fired attorney Kevin Ryan lets Michael Elston know he is "still a company man." (DOJ docs)

January 19, 2007

  • Bud Cummins calls Michael Elston. (Cummins Q&A; TPMMuck)

January 26, 2007

  • John McKay leaves office as U.S. Attorney for Western Washington.

January 31, 2007

  • Paul Charlton resigns as U.S. Attorney for Arizona.

February 2007

February 6, 2007

  • Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. McNulty says that six U.S. attorneys were asked to step down because of "performance-related" issues, but that "Bud" Cummins was dismissed to room for Timothy Griffin, a former aide of presidential adviser Karl Rove. (McClatchy)

February 8, 2007

  • Daniel Bogden responds to McNulty's testimony and disputes the idea he was fired for performance reasons. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

February 9, 2007

  • John McKay responds to McNulty's testimony and disputes the idea he was fired for performance reasons. (WaPo)

February 13, 2007

  • Former CIA Executive Director Kyle Foggo and defense contractor Brent Wilkes are indicted on corruption charges.

February 15, 2007

  • Carol Lam leaves office as U.S. Attorney for Southern California.
  • The Justice Department announces the appointments of Karen P. Hewitt as interim United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, succeeding Carol Lam; and Scott N. Schools as interim United States Attorney for the Northern District of California succeeding Kevin Ryan. (DOJ)
  • Tim Griffin announces "“I have made the decision not to let my name go forward to the Senate" for confirmation. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

February 16, 2007

  • Margaret Chiara resigns as U.S. Attorney for Western Michigan.
  • Karl Rove aide Sara Taylor and Kyle Sampson exchange emails discussing the NYT article reporting on Harriet Miers' involvement in Bud Cummins dismissal. (emptywheel)

February 20, 2007

  • Mike Elston calls Bud Cummins. Elston warns Cummins to keep quiet or the administration would "pull their gloves off and offer public criticisms."
  • Cummins warns Dan Bogden, Paul Charlton, David Iglesias, Carol Lam, and John McKay about the exchange. (DOJ docs)

February 23, 2007

  • Richard Hertling sends a letter to four Senate Democrats: "The department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin". Kyle Sampson drafts the letter, Chris Oprison reviews it. (Murray Waas)

February 27, 2007

  • Michael Elston calls Bud Cummins.

February 28, 2007

  • Daniel Bogden resigns as U.S. Attorney for Nevada.

March 2007

March 1, 2007

  • An article by Marisa Taylor for McClatchy discloses the pre-election calls by Reps. Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson of New Mexico, pressuring David Iglesias to speed up indictments in a public corruption investigation of state Democrats. (McClatchy)

March 5, 2007

  • White House officials Karl Rove, Fred Fielding, and William Kelley meet associate deputy attorney general William Moscella, to prepare his testimony and "agree on clear reasons why each prosecutor was fired." (DOJ docs; Newsweek; Dan Froomkin in WaPo)
  • DOJ spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos emails White House aides a communication plan: "We are trying to muddy the coverage up a bit by trying to put the focus on the process in which they were told."
  • Michael Battle resigns as Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. DOJ spokesman Brian Roehrkasse says "His departure is not connected to the U.S. attorney controversy whatsoever." (AP)

March 6, 2007

  • Morning - Senate Judiciary hearing.
  • Afternoon - House Judiciary hearing. (Committee website; WaPo)
  • Dan Bogden.
  • Bud Cummins. (TPMMuck)
  • David Iglesias. (TPMMuck)
  • Carol Lam.
  • John McKay.
  • William Moschella.

March 7, 2007

March 8, 2007

  • The House Judiciary Committee asks for documents and interviews with DOJ officials to further their investigation (letter)
  • Kyle Sampson tells David Margolis that e-mail exchanges showed the firing decisions were closely coordinated the White House. (Bloomberg)
  • Monica Goodling unloads on David Margolis her fears she will have to quit. (Bloomberg)

March 10, 2007

  • The White House acknowledges that Karl Rove had served as a conduit for complaints to the Justice Department about U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. (McClatchy)

March 12, 2007

  • Kyle Sampson resigns as Gonzales' chief of staff. He says he had failed to fully inform the Justice Department of the White House role in the firing. (DOJ; Reuters; WaPo)

March 13, 2007

  • Alberto Gonzales says "We never had a discussion about where things stood. What I knew was that there was an ongoing effort that was led by Mr. Sampson ... to ascertain where we could make improvements in U.S. attorney performances around the country."
  • Document dump.

March 14 or 15

  • Monica Goodling talks to Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales lays out what he remembers about the firing process, and asks if she has "any reaction" to his memory. "I didn't know that it was maybe appropriate for us to talk about that," Goodling will testify. (TPMMuck)

March 19, 2007

  • Document dump.

March 20, 2007

  • Document dump.

March 23, 2007

  • The Department of Justice announces a joint investigation by the department's inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility, including an examination of whether any of the removals were improper and whether any Justice officials misled Congress about them.
  • Document dump.
  • The November 2006 meeting is disclosed, showing involvement by Alberto Gonzales in coordinating the firings.

March 24, 2007

  • Monica Goodling takes an indefinite leave of absence.

March 26, 2007

  • Monica Goodling announces that she will invoke her 5th Amendment right to not testify. (letter to Judiciary Committee; WaPo)

March 28, 2007

  • The Justice Department says its Feb. 23, 2007, letter to Congress denying Rove's involvement in the U.S. attorney dismissals is "contradicted by Department documents." (DOJ letter)

March 29, 2007

  • Kyle Sampson testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In response to questions about several of the attorney general's statements about the U.S. attorney dismissals, Sampson says, "I don't think it's entirely accurate." (NPR; WaPo)
  • San Diego FBI chief Dan Dzwilewski, who had publicly defended Carol Lam, announces his retirement. (San Diego Union-Tribune; emptywheel)

April 2007

April 6, 2007

  • Monica Goodling resigns.

April 13, 2007

  • Document dump.

April 19, 2007

  • The Department of Justice destroys a file-card based "Master Index File of Names" concerning application, appointment and personnel records for assistant U.S. Attorneys, Presidential appointees, and U.S. Judges. (72 FR 23846)

April 25, 2007

  • The House Judiciary Committee approves an immunity order and authorizes subpoenas for Monica Goodling. (House Judiciary Committee letter)

April 26, 2007

  • Document dump.

April 27, 2007

  • Document dump.

May 2007

May 3, 2007

  • Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. He describes his experience with Carol Lam, David Iglesias, Daniel Bogden, Paul Charlton, and David McKay as "very positive."

May 7, 2007

  • The Department of Justice informs the House Judiciary Committee that it will not object to a grant of limited use immunity to Monica Goodling. (DOJ; WaPo)

May 10, 2007

  • Alberto Gonzales testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. He denies that the resignation of U.S. Attorney Todd Graves was related to the December 2006 firings.

May 15, 2007

  • Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty announces his resignation, which will take effect in the summer.

May 31, 2007

  • Tim Griffin, U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas, announces his resignation.

June 2007

June 14, 2007

June 15, 2007

June 23, 2007

  • William Mercer resigns his position as acting Associate Attorney General, and withdraws his nomination for the job, days before a scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation. Mercer keeps his position as U.S. attorney for Montana. (WaPo)

June 27, 2007

  • President Bush defies subpoenas from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees relating to the purge of U.S. Attorneys. (Source: [Bush won't supply subpoenaed documents)

June 28, 2007

  • White House counsel Fred Fielding, as "Senior Administration Official," gives a telephone briefing defending the Administration position on executive priviledge. Fielding asserts a blanket denial, that the President had "no personal involvement" in the firings. (transcript; emptywheel)

June 29, 2007

  • Rachel Brand, assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, announces her resignation, effective July 9. (DOJ)
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