Tuesday saw another “Open Letter from former Republican Administration Officials who support Joe Biden” published by the Washington Post. This one was signed by 20 former US Attorneys who had been appointed by Republican Presidents.
Understand that there are 93 federal judicial districts, and each has an appointed US Attorney. With changes during an Administration, there are easily 200 or more US Attorneys appointed over the course of an eight-year Presidency. So rounding up 20 appointed by GOP Presidents to say they support Joe Biden is not really a big chore.
But even on those terms, the letter published by the WaPo is a piece of comedy gold.
To round up 20 names the letter’s organizer(s) had to dig down deep and include William Webster, who was appointed in 1960 by Dwight Eisenhower.
Beyond the need to reach back 60 years, those who joined in signing the letter are a veritable Pantheon of RINOs — “Republicans in Name Only.”
I’m not going to dissect the background of every name on the letter, but here are some of the ones who jumped off the page at me, with a little background as to why they are infamous.
William Weld: Weld left the GOP in 2015, and in 2016 he was the VP running mate of Gary Johnson who ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket. He returned to the GOP in 2019 in order to seek the party’s nomination for President in a primary contest against Pres. Trump. Weld has long been a strong advocate for his longtime fellow Massachusetts resident, Mitt Romney.
David Iglesias: Responsible for igniting the “Bush fires 8 US Attorneys” non-controversy in 2005 when he refused the request that he offer his resignation as US Attorney for New Mexico. The New Mexico GOP and then New Mexico GOP Senator Pete Domenici complained about Iglesias to the White House. Karl Rove worked to lay the groundwork for Ignatius’ firing when he refused to resign. The unhappiness stemmed from the pace of Iglesias’ investigation fraud investigation of a Democrat politician thought to be a rising star in the New Mexico Democrat party — who was eventually indicted on 26 felony counts. Iglesias wrote a book in the aftermath of the controversy, “In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration.”
Paul Charlton: Another of the US Attorneys fired during the second term of the Bush 43 Administration for “performance issues”. Charlton had clashed with the Bush Administration over the death penalty; in at least two cases he did not seek capital punishment but was overruled from Washington.
Donald Ayer: In a June 2019 Atlantic article entitled “Why Bill Barr Is So Dangerous,” I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that when Ayer was pushed out of his position as Deputy Attorney General in 1990, it was Bill Barr who was appointed to take his place. Old grudges die hard.
Daniel Bogden: Another of the US Attorneys fired during the second term of the Bush Administration. He was the US Attorney for Nevada — Harry Reid’s state. Amazingly, Pres. Obama appointed him two years after he was fired by Pres. Bush and he served as US Attorney again until Pres. Trump fired him.
David Kelly: Worked side-by-side with Jim Comey prosecuting terrorism cases in the aftermath of 9/11 in both the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Virginia.
So that is just a sampling of bits and pieces of the background on 6 of the 20 former US Attorneys who signed the letter. Their anti-Trump advocacy began long before the 2020 election cycle and the nomination of Joe Biden to be the Democrat Party nominee. Another “shocking” letter pedaled by the media.