June 6th, 2007
05:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Fired U.S. attorneys interviewed by DOJ investigators

David Iglesias is one of the eight U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Several of the eight U.S. attorneys whose firing sparked a controversy have been interviewed recently by Justice Department investigators looking into the 2006 dismissals, CNN has learned.

David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney in Albuquerque, said he talked with officials for almost three hours Wednesday during a meeting in New Mexico.

Among the topics they asked him about, he told CNN, were phone calls Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, and Rep. Heather Wilson, R-New Mexico, made to him complaining about the failure to bring a public corruption indictment before the 2006 election and performance issues some critics have raised about him.

"I just told them the reason I was fired was for political reasons," Iglesias said, a view he has maintained for months. He said he did not provide the investigators with any new details and did not hear any new information from them.

Iglesias blames a failure to swiftly prosecute voter fraud cases as well as not bringing charges against Democrats for his dismissal. Justice Department officials have testified before Congress his name was added to the firing list late in the process but have not been able to provide a reason for that move.

Iglesias said he was told the internal investigation, being run jointly by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility and its inspector general, is expected to last about six more months.

John McKay, the former U.S. attorney in Seattle, told CNN he was interviewed for almost a full day two weeks ago in the District of Columbia.

Asked if he thought his participation in the probe is complete, he said, "You know, lawyers will ask a lot of questions. I expect they'll ask some more, and I could be asked to further participate in the investigation and of course I will, as will all of my colleagues."

The former U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Bud Cummins, said his interview took place May 21 and covered most of the same material the congressional committees investigating the firings have already discussed regarding his case.

Several of the other prosecutors did not respond to CNN's inquiry or could not be reached for comment.

The two officials running the probe recently said they were expanding it to include other issues in addition to the prosecutors' firings, such as allegations former Justice Department counsel Monica Goodling inappropriately took political considerations into account when hiring career staff and allegations concerning whether inappropriate criteria was used in personnel decisions in the civil rights division.

- CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn
CNN Producer Carey Bodenheimer contributed to this story

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Why is this news? President Clinton fired EVERY single US attorney (as it was his right to do). One of the attorneys fired was even investigating Clinton. Bush fires a eight or nine and it is a big deal, why? There is a huge outcry of "what about ongoing investigations"? That is why there are a number of attorneys at each office which can continue the ongoing investigations. This is not news. CNN, please drop it!

    June 6, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. Gregg Johnson

    That Clinton fired all of the prosecuters is telling: he was not selective. If a few selected prosecutors were fired by Justice for political reasons, serious Federal laws were broken. There's a huge difference.

    June 7, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |