[JURIST] White House advisor Karl Rove [official profile] originally suggested firing all 93 US Attorneys [JURIST report] in January 2005, according to an email conversation [text] released by the US Department of Justice Thursday. The e-mails appear to contradict the White House's assertion Tuesday that the idea to comprehensively dismiss US Attorneys first came from former White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile]. In an email from Kyle Sampson [official press releases] at the Justice Department to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile], former-deputy White House Counsel David Leitch and Colin Newman of the White House Counsel's Office, Sampson said that Rove had asked whether the administration planned to fire all US attorneys. Sampson said that the White House Counsel's Office planned to fire "underperforming" attorneys, further stating that the majority of US Attorneys are "are doing a great job, are loyal Bushies." The emails also reveal that Gonzales discussed the firings several weeks before he was confirmed as attorney general. ABC news has more.
Comprehensive dismissals of top federal prosecutors are not unprecedented; Clinton administration Attorney General Janet Reno fired all 93 US Attorneys at the beginning of President Clinton's first term.