Subpoenas issued in US Attorney firings probe: report
Ron Brynaert
Published: Wednesday December 3, 2008

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The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Michael Mukasey to examine the "haphazard, arbitrary and unprofessional" conduct of his predecessor Alberto Gonzales and others related to the firings of nine US Attorneys has "been meeting with defense lawyers, dispatching subpoenas and seeking information about the events, according to legal sources familiar with the case," Wednesday's Washington Post reports.

In September, the Department of Justice's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility released a nearly 400-page report on the US Attorney firings, which found the process was "fundamentally flawed" and placed the blame at the top of the department. It recommended appointing a special prosecutor to continue its examination, which was hampered by the IG's inability to issue subpoenas to officials who had left the deparment.

"By naming a federal prosecutor to determine whether crimes have been committed, the attorney general ensured that authorities would have the power to compel testimony and documents," Carrie Johnson reports for the Post. "[Nora R.] Dannehy, a longtime assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut, in recent weeks has met with lawyers and government officials involved in the case. A grand jury in the District has issued subpoenas, the sources said."

At TPMMuckraker, Zachary Roth points to an "interesting nugget" in the Post report.

"D. Kyle Sampson, who served as the chief of staff to Gonzales until his March 2007 resignation, recently took a leave from his job as a partner at the law firm Hunton & Williams while the investigation proceeds," Johnson reported. "A spokeswoman for the law firm said he is on leave "'pending admission to the D.C. bar.'"

Roth notes that the DOJ's Inspector General report "found that Sampson's testimony was 'not credible' and 'unpersuasive.'"