D. Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, received an unusual waiver from the D.C. Court of Appeals that allows him to practice law, while the Justice Department criminal probe into the politicized hiring and firing in the Bush DOJ continues, The National Law Journal reported today.
The D.C. Committee on Admissions has not approved Sampson’s bar application because DOJ investigators said he broke federal laws and misled government officials, according to the NLJ. He appealed the panel’s decision to the D.C. Court of Appeals, which ruled that he could practice law in Washington until a final decision was reached on his bar application, the NLJ said.
Sampson resigned from his Bush administration post in March 2007 after public outcry over the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys. Connecticut Acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy is currently investigating whether politics improperly influenced the U.S. Attorney firings.
The former Bush official was set to join the D.C. Bar in summer 2008 but the probe into the Bush DOJ gave the D.C. Committee on Admissions second thoughts, according to the NLJ. Sampson, a member of the Utah Bar, was then forced to go on leave from his partnership at Richmond, Va.-based law firm Hunton & Williams in 2008 because there is a limited amount of time a lawyer can practice in Washington without a membership to the D.C. Bar, according to the NLJ.
Sampson returned to Hunton & Williams earlier this summer. He specializes in Food and Drug Administration regulatory and enforcement issues at the firm.