Two former U.S. Attorneys for Western Washington, brothers Mike and John McKay, are among twenty Republican-appointed former federal prosecutors who endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday and described Donald Trump as “a threat to the rule of law in our country.”
“The President has clearly conveyed that he expects his Justice Department appointees and prosecutors to serve his personal and political interests in the handling of certain cases – such as the investigations into foreign election interference and the prosecution of his political associates – and has taken action against those who have stood up for the interests of justice,” the former prosecutors said in an open letter to the people of the United States.
The letter is signed by U.S. Attorneys who have served under Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower.
The ex‑U.S. attorneys took issue with the deployment of federal officers to such cities as Portland and Seattle amid demonstrations that followed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“(Trump) has undermined the (Justice) Department’s ability to unify and lead our nation’s law enforcement by picking political fights with state and local officials in a naked effort to demonize and blame them for the disturbances in our cities over the past several months,” said the statement.
Mike McKay helped run the 1988 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush in this state, a campaign which saw “Poppy” Bush visit Washington seven times. He subsequently served as chief federal prosecutor for Western Washington.
John McKay was named U.S. Attorney under President George W. Bush. He was removed in 2007 by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for being insufficiently political. He was part of an extensive purge of U.S. attorneys.
During the spring, John McKay signed a letter calling for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. It decried a Department of Justice decision to seek a lenient prison term for longtime Trump political fixer Roger Stone, and the decision to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
“I signed for the reason that this is yet another example of Attorney General Barr trashing the rule of law to please the President,” said McKay, who has practiced with the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine and taught at the Seattle University School of law since leaving the Department of Justice.
The former U.S. Attorneys, in their Tuesday letter, vouched for Biden, describing Barack Obama’s former deputy as a capable healer.
The letter declared: “We firmly believe that Vice President Joe Biden is the candidate who can – and will – provide the leadership we need to refocus the Justice Department on the cause of impartial justice and to address the deep seated societal issues that are roiling our country today.”