US attorneygate | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 29, 2008

US attorneygate

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 9:34 AM

For your reading pleasure: Here's the full report -- so far -- on the scandal surrounding removal of U.S. attorneys, including Bud Cummins of the Eastern District of Arkansas. He's mentioned repeatedly, but pages 115-145 cover his replacement by Tim Griffin in detail. A timeline quotes an item in "an Arkansas tabloid." (Later, the Times is identified and quoted in an editorial mentioning that Griffin's political activities likely would become an issue.)

Karl Rove's deep involvement in helping Griffin is detailed. That's significant because statements that he was NOT involved are among many "misleading" (read: dishonest) statements made by the Bush administration about the swap of Cummins for Griffin.

The bottom line on Cummins-Griffin, as expresed in the report, has long been clear:

In sum, we concluded that Cummins was not removed for performance reasons, as initially suggested by the Department. His performance was never evaluated, and no Department leader had suggested that Cummins’s performance was lacking. Sampson stated that he thought Cummins was “mediocre” but he never assessed his performance, and he later agreed with McNulty that Cummins was not removed for performance reasons. Rather, the evidence shows that the main reason for Cummins’s removal, and the timing for his removal, was to provide a position for former White House employee Griffin.

Reports on the details are welcome. The investigation is not over and Gonzo continues to twist in the wind. The report so far is, if restrained in tone, a withering indictment of the corruption of the Justice Department by politics. Now a special prosecutor goes to work.


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