A U.S. Attorney who was among those dismissed in the 2006 Justice Department firing controversy said Thursday that he was not surprised by the Justice Department’s recent decision not to file criminal charges in connection with the scandal.
John McKay, who was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington from 2001 to 2006, told KUOW News that he has confidence in Assistant U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy — who was appointed in September 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey as a special prosecutor to probe the firings, particularly that of former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. But McKay said he was disappointed that the DOJ didn’t say who fired the nine George W. Bush administration U.S. Attorneys and why.
The former U.S. Attorney also said he was never questioned as part of the investigation into the scandal.
“I think it’s a little curious and somewhat disappointing that she didn’t bother questioning the United States Attorneys who were at the heart of the investigation,” McKay told the radio station.
McKay said he concluded from the probe that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who led the DOJ during the scandal, and other DOJ officials dishonored their offices and that their actions hurt the U.S. justice system.
“Those who wield the sort of power that the police and prosecutors wield have to be people who are free from politics,” McKay told KUOW News. “[The Republican and Democratic parties] can’t tell prosecutors who they should investigate, indict or send to prison. And I think we got dangerously close to that in Alberto Gonzales’s Department of Justice.”