NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Mike, John McKay join Republican-appointed former prosecutors in endorsing Joe Biden

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.”

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