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March 16, 2007

Seattle Times Has Rick White Suspension Story

Yesterday, commenter Richard Pope revealed that he had contacted the Seattle clerk's office and found out that former Congressman Rick White is not currently allowed to practice law in the state of Washington -- much less practice as the U.S. attorney if chosen. Much thanks to Mr. Pope, who's publicizing of this information may have played a part in today's Seattle Times article.

Without an active bar license, White cannot practice law in state courts. To appear in federal court — where virtually all of the U.S. attorney's cases are heard — White will have to submit an application, be approved by a federal judge, and have a local attorney sponsor him, said Janet Bubnis, the chief deputy clerk in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington.

White, contacted at home Thursday night, said he could not talk about his situation "because the White House has very strict rules about commenting on this process.

"I understand I'm in a bad position," he said. "I wish I could explain, but I can't."

Likewise, a spokeswoman for Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, said his office would have no comment. Reichert was assigned to oversee the selection process to replace John McKay, a President Bush appointee who was fired as U.S. attorney last month.

"I wish I could explain, but I can't." This has given me the biggest laugh of the day and it's not even cocktail hour yet! I'm going to try that line the next time a client asks me how an entire gallon of primer got spilled onto their living room carpet: "I wish I could explain, but I can't." Or the next time the IRS asks me why I haven't filed my taxes for the last three years: "I wish I could explain, but I can't." There are just so many fun scenarios to concoct, while using that line as a response.

But I'm not on the short list of people being considered for the position of U.S. attorney. Rick White is.

And what about Congressman Dave Reichert's responsibility in this? He's the one who forwarded the short list to the Department of Justice. And does King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, who worked with Reichert on compiling that list, have anything to say about it? For the record, I asked Reichert's D.C. office for a statement this morning, and they said they didn't know anything about it. So, I steered them to Richard Pope's comment and suggested they might want to aquaint themselves with the situation.

At least the woman on the phone in Reichert's office thanked me, rather than simply using a really unbelievable excuse, something on the order of: "I understand I'm in a bad position. I wish I could explain, but I can't."

Update: Lynn Allen called Dan Donohoe at Maleng's office earlier today to get a statement about SuspensionGate. She's still waiting for his response...

Posted by shoephone on March 16, 2007 at 02:18 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


Oh my! Reichert was given a simple task by Hastings, and he asked his benefactor of old, Maleng, to help, and he drops the ball by putting a guy who can't even practice law here on the short list for a U.S. prosecutor position?

How pathetic is that!?

Posted by: Daniel K | Mar 16, 2007 3:13:20 PM

Unlike Cummins in Arkansas, who was fired to make way for Rove's fair-haired boy, there was no particular replacement in mind for McKay. So far, we have at least 3 reasons for the firings: blatant cronyism (Cummins), not pursuing Democrats (McKay), and pursuing Republicans aggressively (Lam). I think the Lam scenario is the one that will ultimately bite them in the ass as a criminal matter.

Posted by: op99 | Mar 16, 2007 3:58:25 PM

Good work, Richard Pope and shoe! Pebble by pebble, the mountain falls . . .

Posted by: lotus | Mar 17, 2007 2:57:56 AM

"Unlike Cummins in Arkansas, who was fired to make way for Rove's fair-haired boy, there was no particular replacement in mind for McKay."

The facts seem to indicate otherwise.

Rick White, who was recommended by Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, was replaced in his previous job {CEO of TechNet} by Karl Rove's aide, Lezlee Westine, who then became the new CEO of TechNet as reported in e-week.com. "The newest face of the IT industry here, Westine is leaving her job as director of public liaison and deputy assistant to Bush to become CEO of TechNet, a political network of CEOs."

Facts seem to indicate that not only was Rove responsible for firing John McKay, but he also may have had Dave Reichert recommend Rick White.

In order for Rick White to be recommended as US Attorney, he had to step down from job as CEO of TechNet. Rove, being thorough, had Rick White replaced as CEO of TechNet with his own personal aide, Lezlee Westine.

In addition, political support for the firing of John McKay apppears to have been channelled through an assistant of Karl Rove, Glynda Becker. Prior to working for Karl Rove, Glynda BEcker was an assistant to Rick White.

This information has been provided to the Chairmen of both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, as well as other media for their consideration and further investigation.

I hope this background information will be useful in further the investigation of the firing of John McKay. While this background information does not necessarily relate to the primary cause for firing, it reveals that there was considerable depth to Karl Rove's operation, and by all appearances, Rove did not just decide out of the blue one day to have to have McKay fired.

Interestingly enough, it now appears that Dave Reichert is now offering "no comment" responses to questions about the McKay firing. That's probably a good thing for Reichert to do right now, as his recommended replacement for John McKay seems hopelessly tied to Karl Rove.

Posted by: CoolAqua | May 10, 2007 7:38:10 AM

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