Jr. Turdblossom strikes again
Kyle Sampson is the gift that keeps on giving:
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had “not distinguished themselves” on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.
The ranking placed Fitzgerald below “strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty” to the administration but above “weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.,” according to Justice documents.
The March 2005 chart ranking Fitzgerald and other prosecutors was drawn up by Gonzales aide D. Kyle Sampson and sent to then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. The reference to Fitzgerald is in a portion of the memo that Justice has refused to turn over to Congress, officials told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Fitzgerald’s ranking has not been made public.
At the time, Fitzgerald was leading the independent probe into the leak of the identity of a CIA operative, which led this month to the perjury conviction of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, had also recently brought a corruption indictment in Illinois against former Republican governor George H. Ryan.
A Justice Department official yesterday sought to play down the importance of Fitzgerald’s ranking, saying the chart was “put together by Sampson and is not an official department position on these U.S. attorneys.”
Sampson resigned as Gonzales’s chief of staff last week, and his attorney declined to comment yesterday.
Mary Jo White, who supervised Fitzgerald when she served as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and who has criticized the firings, said ranking him as a middling prosecutor “lacks total credibility across the board.”
“He is probably the best prosecutor in the nation — certainly one of them,” said White, who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. “It casts total doubt on the whole process. It’s kind of the icing on the cake.”
I’ll leave it to Patterico to deliver the punchline:
Apparently, the guy who successfully prosecuted Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and who convicted Illinois Governor George Ryan of bribery, was considered a middling prosecutor by Kyle Sampson. I wonder if it had anything to do with that prosecutorâ€™s pending prosecution of Scooter Libby (which also resulted in a conviction)?
But then, we already knew that Sampson was a dishonest bonehead, didnâ€™t we?
A search on Google for pictures of Sampson shows that his alma mater, BYU, has taken his picture down.
Shun the nonbeliever. Shuuuunnnnnn-ah.
Programming Note: You will notice that we are now officially abandoning the blue lettering for the block quotes in deference to my obviously aging and cranky readership. Ooooo, look guys! Jill St. John!