The varying stories about why the U.S. attorneys were fired have finally reached such a state of complexity that soon I will be forced to resort to equations.
The Justice Department has consistently said that while seven of the U.S. attorneys were fired for "performance" reasons, one was not: Little Rock's Bud Cummins. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty told the Senate Judiciary Committee in early February that Cummins was removed for no other reason than to install Tim Griffin, Karl Rove's former aide, in his place.
But apparently it's more complicated than that. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said that Kyle Sampson told
congressional investigators that Cummins was
fired for performance reasons. Sampson apparently couldn't describe just what those pressing problems were -- only that Cummins "hadn't distinguished himself" in his position.
Remember that Alberto Gonzales was also under the impression that [that the story was] Cummins was fired for performance reasons -- and he was reportedly upset by McNulty's testimony because of that
So how to account between the discrepancy between McNulty's testimony and Sampson's and Gonzales' version?
Words fail. From U.S. News
Other knowledgeable sources say Sampson's testimony was not as clear cut as Schumer indicated. According to their version, while Sampson indicated there had been some performance issues with Cummins that placed him on the potential firing list well before Griffin had entered the picture, Sampson's explanations about the Cummins firing were complex enough that different people could interpret the reasons for the firings differently.