When former United States attorney John McKay made a bid in 2006 to be a federal judge, he didn't get the job. Why? Well, part of the vetting process, it seems, involved quizzing him about why he didn't pursue allegations of voter fraud by Democrats in the 2004 gubernatorial election.The Seattle Times
has more on who in the White House asked McKay about that:
He said Tuesday that during interviews with Harriet Miers, former White House counsel, and William Kelley, deputy counsel, he was asked to explain "criticism that I mishandled the 2004 governor's election."
Since McClatchy reported
that Miers wasn't the one who popped the question to McKay, it seems that William Kelley
So who complained to the White House?
McKay told The Seattle Times
that reporters "should ask Congressman [Doc] Hastings (R-WA) if he contacted the White House in connection with my application to be district judge or contacted the justice department."
Well, they did, and Hastings' chief of staff denied it up and down: "Neither I nor any member of my staff â past or present â ever contacted anyone at the White House or the Department of Justice about whether John McKay should be removed as U.S. attorney or whether he was qualified to be a federal judge."
State Republicans made quite a ruckus about the lack of an investigation -- one Republican, Tom McCabe of the Building Industry Association of Washington, even wrote to Hastings demanding that Hastings "please ask the White House to replace Mr. McKay." Cc'ed on the letter (pdf) (which calls McKay a Democrat, even though he is a Republican), were John Fund of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, Greg Van Tatenhove, a former U.S. attorney who was successfully nominated to the federal bench, and Bob Williams of the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation, who went so far as to file a formal complaint with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2005 about McKay's handling of the voter fraud allegations.
McCabe also claims to have "urged the President to fire McKay." How, where, and when he did that is not clear.
Update: This post originally said that McKay made his bid for the federal bench in 2005. It was actually last year. The meeting with the White House was last August or September, he says, and he was informed that he had not gotten the spot four days after he was fired in December.