In this article from the Creighton Law Review, former US Attorney, John McKay, examines the challenges a government lawyer has in maintaining his integrity, both in general and under the Trump administration. John McKay was ordered to resign, along with 8 others, during the Bush administration in 2007, in an event now known as the “Fired U.S. Attorneys Scandal.”
The following is an excerpt from his article:
“Ethical conduct in the face of power can be daunting. Lessons drawn from the past, including the United States Attorney Firing Scandal, seem applicable in the glare of today’s headlines. Demonstrating a willingness to elevate principle over self-interest, especially when defending the rule of law, is the mark of ethical leadership. Naked power, whether it be Israeli forces utilizing American weapons or emanating from a dysfunctional Oval Office exercise, is ultimately no match for singular acts of conscience.
As those of us who were fired a decade ago well know, there are some principles more important than holding on to an impressive government job title. It seems that the recent firings in the Trump Administration will not be the last. Government lawyers and leaders will be called upon to do the right and ethical thing as required by the law–even if doing so means they, too, might be fired.”
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