Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day. In 30-60 seconds, you’ll be first to see TPM’s best stories of the morning and caught up on what to expect for the day ahead.
Under questioning from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Sampson testifies about his "bad idea" to circumvent Senate confirmation for the appointment of Tim Griffin as the U.S. Attorney in Eastern Arkansas.
"I did not think the White House would consider doing that in 92 districts," he said, meaning that he only intended to use it for Griffin. "In my discussions at the staff level with folks at the White House, I believe it was a consideration then... at the staff level, we discussed it." But he says it wasn't adopted by "the principals" (meaning Harriet Miers).
Upon further questioning by Specter, he admits that he spoke with Gonzales about the idea. "I don't think he liked the idea very much," Sampson says. He's then asked whether Gonzales specifically rejected it and says that he did after speaking with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) about the appointment of Griffin. But it's unclear when that conversation was.
Sampson says it could have been in late December or early January. When Specter asks whether that was after Sampson wrote in a December 19, 2007 email that they should use the provision, Sampson says it was.
He says he has no recollection of Harriet Miers rejecting the idea.