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Sampson has close relationship with GOP senators on committee that will question him
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday March 28, 2007
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When D. Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's former chief of staff, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, he may get a warm reception from some committee Republicans, including a former boss who warned his colleagues against trying "to hurt the man" last week.

Sampson has agreed to testify on Thursday before the Judiciary Committee in the US Senate, a body where he used to work. One of the senators hearing his testimony, Orrin Hatch of Utah, is a former employer. Sampson served as counsel to Senator Hatch from 1999-2001. Records filed with the Federal Election Commission also show that Hatch received a $250 campaign donation in March 2006 from Sampson.

Senator Hatch made it clear in a Judiciary Committee hearing last week authorizing the issuance of subpoenas that he wants Sampson treated well before the Committee.

"I personally feel badly for young Kyle Sampson. He worked on this committee. He's a very honest, decent, honorable person. And he had the unenviable job of handling these matters," Hatch explained.

He added, "And, frankly, I will resent anybody who tries to hurt the man."

But Hatch tried to sound a balanced note. "He was in a tough position and, frankly, I think, handled it pretty well under the circumstances, even though there are things I disagree with."

RAW STORY did not receive a response to multiple phone calls left with Senator Hatch's office this morning.

Sampson donated $250 to the Commonwealth Political Action Committee in Oct. 2006. The group describes itself as supporting "reform-minded Republicans who share the belief that government should be limited, responsive and affordable." The PAC's records show that it has supported two other senators on the Judiciary Committee, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Jon Kyl of Arizona.

The former Justice Department official also gave $250 to the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.

Other Justice Department employees implicated in the firing of eight US Attorneys have given generously to Republican politicians.

Monica Goodling, the Justice Department Public Affairs Director who is now on a leave of absence and invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, gave $750 to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in 2004.

Tasia Scolinos, who works in Justice Department Public Affairs, gave $2000 in 2004 to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Michael J. Elston, the chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, gave $750 to the Republican National Committee in 2001 and $2000 to the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2003 and 2004.

(additional research by Michael Petrelis)