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"Bud is lazy â which is why we got rid of him in the first place."
That's what Sara Taylor, Karl Rove's senior aide, wrote to Kyle Sampson in February of this year. During the hearing this morning, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wanted to know: who was "we"?* Who'd decided that U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was lazy? And who decided on that basis to "get rid of him?" It certainly doesn't sound from the email that this was the Justice Department's decision.
A few answers, several digressions, and many minutes later, Taylor finally refused to answer the question and invoked executive privilege to protect internal White House deliberations.
Sen. Whitehouse responded that it was a prime example of the "ludicrous and extreme" assertion of privilege by the administration that Taylor couldn't testify about an email that the committee already had.
It's case in point for why Democrats want to hear more from Taylor and others to find out whether the White House was behind the firings.
*Note: "We," Taylor said, was "the administration" -- of which both Justice Department appointees and White House officials are a part.
Taylor apologized earlier in the hearing for calling Cummins lazy.