Attorney General Alberto Gonzales planned to install his former aide Kyle Sampson as a lawyer in the Justice Department’s environment division even after Sampson’s “resignation,” NPR reported today.
Media outlets have reported this week that Sampson, Gonzales’ ex-chief of staff, resigned over the U.S. Attorney scandal on Monday. But as ThinkProgress noted, Gonzales on Tuesday made vague remarks during his press conference indicating that Sampson was still on the department payroll. “His transition — as a technical matter, he is at the Department as he transitions out and looks for another employment.”
In fact, Gonzales “started to set up a new office for Sampson” in the Justice Department, and Sampson only resigned on Tuesday when “the scandal surrounding eight fired U.S. Attorneys continued to grow.” A Justice official told NPR that “there were discussions about whether or not he would be detailed elsewhere as he was transitioning out and ultimately it was decided not to go that direction.”
NPR has learned that the Attorney General’s chief of staff resigned from his position this week, the Justice Department took steps to establish him as an attorney elsewhere in the building. Kyle Sampson stepped down on Monday after Justice officials said he was responsible for the attorney general giving incomplete information to Congress over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. NPR’s Ari Shapiro reports:
SHAPIRO: According to Justice Department sources, after Kyle Sampson resigned as the attorney general’s chief of staff on Monday, he was going to work as a lawyer in the legislative section of the department’s environment division. The Justice Department started to set up a new office for Sampson in that section, and he only resigned from the department on Tuesday, when the scandal surrounding eight fired U.S. Attorneys continued to grow. On Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sampson only remained in the department “as a technical matter.” A Justice official speaking on background said there were discussions about whether or not he would be detailed elsewhere as he was transitioning out and ultimately it was decided not to go that direction.