March 15, 2007 -- The list of White House and Justice Department officials involved in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is long, and includes Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, former White House counsel Harriet Miers and numerous other officials, according to e-mails released on Tuesday.
Although Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff, is the only Justice Department official to have resigned amid the controversy, scrutiny may be moving to other officials as more e-mails and memos between the White House and Justice Department are expected to be released as early as Friday.
Although e-mails released on Tuesday show Sampson working hand in hand with the White House counsel's office, several pages of e-mails show Justice Department officials dealing with White House political staff on the U.S. attorneys issue.
These include communications between Monica Goodling, the Justice Department-White House liaison and senior counselor to Gonzales, and Scott Jennings, the deputy political director at the White House.
The e-mails show that Jennings apparently used his Republican National Committee e-mail account to communicate with Justice Department officials.
Regarding the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, a series of e-mails between Goodling and Jennings reveal that two New Mexico residents were granted a meeting at the Justice Department to voice their concerns about Iglesias.
In a June 20, 2006 e-mail, Jennings wrote to Goodling, "I have a person from New Mexico coming to town this week -- he is the President's nominee for the U.S. Postal Board of Governors. He was heavily involved in the President's campaign's legal team. His name is Mickey Barnett, and he has requested a meeting with someone at DOJ to discuss the USATTY situation there."
Responding less than two hours later, Goodling wrote, "Sure- I'm happy to do it if it involves sensitive issues. … If it's more generic resources type of conversation our [Executive Office of US Attorney] director is here this week and available."
Jennings did not use his White House e-mail account for the exchanges but rather an e-mail account from the RNC that noted his e-mail as email@example.com.
Jennings responded: "It is sensitive perhaps you should do it. I am going to send an email to both of you and let the two of you work out the scheduling."
Goodling's final e-mail to Jennings on the issue noted, "Happy to do so thanks."
Allegedly the New Mexico residents were concerned about Iglesias pursuing voter corruption. The two identified in the e-mails were Patrick Rogers and Mickey Barnett. Barnett is a lawyer in Albuquerque in a private firm. Rogers is a lawyer with Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk law firm. He is also on the board of directors of the American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund.
Also released in the documents was Goodling's calendar, which noted that Rogers and Barnett had met in room 5114 of the Justice Department, several doors down from Gonzales' office.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Iglesias testified about inquiries from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., who had called him in October 2005 to inquire about the time frame of possible indictments in a corruption case involving Democrats in that state.
A 2005 internal Justice Department evaluation of Iglesias' office obtained by ABC News noted that he was "experienced in legal, management and community relations work and was respected by the judiciary, agencies and staff."
Iglesias was fired on Dec. 7, 2006 along with six other U.S. attorneys who are presidential appointees.
Gonzales took full responsibility for the controversy Tuesday, but noted, "All political appointees, such as U.S. attorneys, serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States."
Days after the U.S. attorneys were fired, the White House and Domenici's office were debating on a replacement for Iglesias.
Sampson, Gonzales' former chief of staff, after being contacted by Jennings, wrote to Goodling, "fyi, WH wants this guy … but Domenici is not so sure supposedly Domenici is going to send over names tomorrow (not even waiting for Iglesias' body to cool.)"