Representative Doc Hastings may have some explaining to do: Was he pressuring the U.S. Attorney's office, then led by later-dismissed attorney John McKay, into doing partisan dirty work?
This might seem to come out of nowhere except for the context. A string of U.S. attorneys around the country (mainly around the west) were fired late last year; the one of the group from the Northwest was John McKay of western Washington, who was well-regarded locally. No explanation for the dismissal was given, either to McKay or publicly, and some weeks passed even before confirmation that in fact he was fired.
Since then, reasons for dismissal of several of the attorneys has surfaced, and they haven't been pretty. In New Mexico, for instance, firee David Iglesias said he felt "leaned on" by Senator Pete Domenici and Representative Heather Wilson to go ahead with prosecutions that would reflect badly on Democrats before than after the last general election. Other comparable stories have been emerging.
This morning, McKay, Iglesias and two counterparts from California and Arkansas testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is reviewing the dismissals. They prefaced by saying, "Recently, each of us was asked by Department of Justice officials to resign our posts. Each of us was fully aware that we served at the pleasure of the President, and that we could be removed for any or no reason. In most of our cases, we were given little or no information about the reason for the request for our resignations. This hearing is not a forum to engage in speculation, and we decline to speculate about the reasons."
But details of fact emerged anyway.