[JURIST] Mike Elston, chief of staff to US Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile; JURIST news archive], announced his resignation Friday, making him the fifth Department of Justice (DOJ) official linked to the controversial firing of at least eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive] to resign. Elston, whose resignation becomes effective at the end of next week, is accused of making threatening phone calls to at least four of the dismissed former US attorneys, urging them to remain silent about the circumstances of their firings.
On March 5, Director of the Executive Office for US Attorneys (EOUSA)[official website] Michael A. Battle announced his resignation. Battle, who was responsible for the administrative management direction and oversight to all 93 US Attorneys, made the phone calls firing seven US attorneys in December of 2006. Former DOJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson [DOJ press release; JURIST news archive], who reportedly compiled three separate lists [JURIST report] of US attorneys that were considered for removal, resigned [DOJ press release] on March 12. Monica M. Goodling [JURIST news archive], who had been on voluntary leave from her post as special counsel to the US Attorney General, submitted her resignation on April 6 [JURIST report]. Goodling has since contradicted statements [JURIST report] made by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales concerning the firings and has also admitted to improperly considering applicants based on political consideration [JURIST report]. US Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile] announced on May 14 his resignation [JURIST report] as early as the end of the summer, or when a successor receives Congressional approval. McNulty has admitted that one of the firings was conducted to allow Tom Griffin, former aide to Karl Rove, to assume a US Attorney position, an allegation that Gonzales denies. AP has more.