“My conversation with John McKay was a routine effort to determine whether allegations of voter fraud in the 2004 gubernatorial election were, or were not, being investigated by federal authorities,” Cassidy stated. “I am pleased that Mr. McKay recalls both our agreement to respect these boundaries and my subsequent decision to end the conversation promptly.”
In a statement released late Tuesday, Boehner said that both Cassidy and McKay had made it “abundantly clear” that no “impropriety” took place during their conversation.
The dustup involving the top Congressional staffer was just one subplot in the complicated drama surrounding the ousted U.S. attorneys.
Iglesias, McKay, Bud Cummins III, the former U.S. attorney for Eastern Arkansas, and Carol Lam, the ousted U.S. attorney for the Southern district of California, all testified before the House and Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The most charged allegations stemmed from Iglesias, who claimed that he felt “pressured” and “leaned on” during an “unprecedented” call to his home by Domenici at the end of October 2006.
Iglesias said that Domenici asked him whether specific indictments in the corruption probe would be “filed before November.” When Iglesias replied in the negative, he testified that the Senator said, “I’m very sorry to hear that” and that the phone line abruptly went dead.
“I felt sick afterwards. I felt that he was upset at hearing the answer that he received,” Iglesias testified. “I felt leaned-on, I felt pressure to get these matters moving.”
Iglesias also detailed a similar phone call from Wilson on about Oct. 16, 2006, in which Wilson, he testified, inquired about “sealed indictments.”
“Red flags went up in my head ... we cannot talk about a sealed indictment,” Iglesias said. “I was evasive and nonresponsive to her question.”
“She was not happy with that answer,” Iglesias added.
Iglesias’ testimony conflicts with statements released Sunday and Monday, respectively, by Domenici and Wilson.
In her statement, Wilson said that a constituent “with knowledge of ongoing investigations” told her in the fall that Iglesias was “intentionally delaying corruption prosecutions.”
Wilson called that allegation “deeply troubling” and said she called Iglesias directly to clarify the situation.
“My call was not about any particular case or person, nor was it motivated by politics or partisanship,” Wilson said. “I did not ask about the timing of any indictments and I did not tell Mr. Iglesias what course of action I thought he should take or pressure him in any way.
“If the purpose of my call has somehow been misperceived, I am sorry for any confusion,” she added. “I thought it was important for Mr. Iglesias to receive this information and, if necessary, have the opportunity to clear his name.”
In his statement, Domenici apologized for contacting Iglesias, but maintained he did nothing improper.
“At no time in that conversation or any other conversation with Mr. Iglesias did I ever tell him what course of action I thought he should take on any legal matter,” Domenici said. “I have never pressured him nor threatened him in any way.”