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The USAtty Firings Rearing Up Again?

What have we here? A smoking Bush crony in the USAtty scandal? Do tell (via McClatchy):

A longtime protege of President Bush told former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias that he was fired for political reasons and that he shouldn’t fight his ouster, Iglesias says in a new book.

"This is political," Iglesias recalls Texas U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton telling him shortly after he was ousted. "If I were you, I’d just go quietly."…

"I couldn’t believe what I was hearing: a U.S. attorney all but admitting that a colleague was being hung out to dry for reasons that had nothing to do with performance or professionalism," he wrote in a draft of the book, which McClatchy obtained.

Sutton, who’s the top U.S. attorney in San Antonio, didn’t return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

As a result of Iglesias’ and several other prosecutors’ accusations that they were fired in December 2006 for improper political reasons, the Justice Department turned over thousands of documents, and Congress forced top officials, including Gonzales, to testify.

No one has determined who decided which prosecutors should be fired and why. Democrats say that must mean the White House was calling the shots, while the administration has said it demonstrates that the firings were blown out of proportion.

Iglesias said he asked Sutton how he knew about his firing.

"I saw your name," he quoted Sutton as saying.

This is especially intriguing in light of this from John Anderson’s Follow the Money:

The tidbit in a footnote on page 277: details of Rove’s prior use of a pliant USAtty office in San Antonio for payback against political opponents as a template for the current USAtty scandal and politicization questions embroiling the DOJ. So many of Rove’s actions are repeats of successful smaller oppo actions in his past — what other predictors are we missing?

From whom did Mr. Sutton get that sneak peek? His close working relationship with Rove in the political ratfuck arena sure does make that question a lot more interesting, now doesn’t it?

Mr. Sutton? Meet Mr. Subpoena… 

UPDATE: Emptywheel reminds me via e-mail of the Kyle Sampson exchange (PDF) with various folks on this (h/t Lawprofessorsblog — WhiteCollarCrime). Was Sutton pulled into the loop via this? Or someone/something else? Wouldn’t getting a definitive answer be swell here?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com