Top aide fails to snatch the pebble from Karl Rove’s hand
Kyle Sampson now:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly canceled travel plans Tuesday amid growing calls for his ouster over the firings of eight federal prosecutors during a White House-directed housecleaning of U.S. attorneys.
Gonzales also accepted the resignation of his top aide, Kyle Sampson, who authorities said failed to brief other senior Justice Department officials of his discussions about the firings with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. Miers resigned in January.
A Justice Department official said Tuesday that Miers, in a February 2005 discussion with Sampson, suggested firing all of the U.S. attorneys. White House spokesman Tony Snow described the idea as a move to get fresh faces in the 4-year term jobs, and said that it was not a firm recommendation by Miers.
Sampson, according to the Justice official, rejected the idea to fire all of the prosecutors but spent the next year drawing up a list of potential dismissals. On January 9, 2006, Sampson sent Miers a memo listing what the official described as roughly 10 names of prosecutors who were viewed as underperforming in their jobs.
By September, Sampson began moving forward with the firings, the Justice official said. The White House did not ask for names to be added or removed from that list, the official said. Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty signed off on the list around that time, the official said.
Sampson being groomed then:
Speaking of Karl Rove , there had been much concern last week that he also might have to resign as a result of Fitzgerald’s probe. The loss of Karl’s familiar presence — he’s the last of the original “Iron Triangle” of Bush’s Texas advisers still in the White House — would have unsettled many younger aides.
Fortunately, there’s a ready replacement: D. Kyle Sampson , chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and formerly in the White House counsel’s office. Maybe not exactly the same as Karl but . . .
The difference between Rove and Sampson is that Rove always manages to find someone else to take the fall for him…like, oh, Kyle Sampson.
On this note, imagine the fun we would be having if Miers or Gonzalez had made it to the Supreme Court…