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Cobell | Politics | Trust
Bush aide linked to Special Trustee firing resigns


A Bush administration aide who contributed to the firing of former Special Trustee Tom Slonaker resigned on Tuesday amid uproar over the firing of several U.S. Attorneys.

D. Kyle Sampson resigned as chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales through he remains a government employee. Sampson -- with the help of White House aides -- orchestrated the firing of the federal prosecutors, but failed to inform Department of Justice superiors fully about his role, Gonzales said.

Sampson previously worked for the White House, as did Gonzales. In July 2002, Sampson pressured Slonaker to revise testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that stated an accounting of the Indian trust was impossible.

Slonaker went ahead and told the committee of missing records, inadequate information and inaccurate data. A week later, he was asked to leave the Interior Department by former secretary Gale Norton and former deputy secretary J. Steven Griles.

The Cobell plaintiffs sought to question Sampson and other White House and DOJ attorneys about their role in the firing but the Bush administration refused to allow access.

Get the Story:
Gonzales: 'Mistakes Were Made' (The Washington Post 3/14)
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‘Mistakes’ Made on Prosecutors, Gonzales Says (The New York Times 3/14)
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US Attorney Firing Emails:
Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 | Set 4

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

Related Stories:
White House refusing Indian trust access (8/26)
Probe into Indian trust fund ouster expands (8/5)
Editorial: What Norton doesn't want to hear (8/5)
Slonaker: Gale Norton 'has no clothes' (8/1)
White House embroiled in trust fund mess (07/31)
Feathers ruffled in and out of Indian Country (07/31)
Slonaker leaves Bush administration (7/30)