A key figure in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal has a permanent license to practice law in D.C. following a two-year battle for bar membership.
D. Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, joined the D.C. Bar on Dec. 6, The Blog of Legal Times reported Friday. Sampson had been using a temporary license granted by the D.C. Court of Appeals in May 2009 to practice law in D.C. He has been a member of the Utah Bar since 1998.
In 2009, the D.C. Committee on Admissions expressed concerns about Sampson’s integrity after an internal Justice Department investigation into the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys concluded that he broke federal law and hoodwinked Congress and the White House. DOJ special prosecutor Nora Dannehy later determined in June 2010 that criminal charges related to the U.S. Attorney purge should not be filed.
“When Ms. Dannehy concluded her investigation without any charges against Mr. Sampson, we brought that fact to the attention of the Committee,” Sidley Austin LLP partner George Jones Jr., who represented Sampson, told the BLT. “In our view, at that point, there was no basis for the Committee to decline to act on the application on the merits. We presume the Committee agreed, and approved the application in accordance with generally applicable standards.”
Mark Carlin, chairman of the Committee on Admissions, declined to tell the BLT why his panel decided to admit him to the bar. But he said the decision “was entirely a committee decision.”
Sampson is a partner at the law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP in Washington, specializing in Food and Drug Administration regulatory and enforcement issues.