So what, exactly, will Democrats be grilling Kyle Sampson about, starting in a couple minutes?
U.S. News has a general rundown which is a good start, but there a few key things to look for, a couple of which they touch on.
1) Sampson claims that the firings were the result of a broad, "consensus based" process. So let's hear the reasons, however subjective or unscientific they were. How was it, for example, that the Justice Department's second most senior official wrote two days before the firings that he was getting "a little skittish" about firing U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden?
2) On May 11, 2006, Sampson emailed deputy White House counsel William Kelley: "The real problem we have right now with Carol Lam that leads me to conclude that we should have someone ready to be nominated on 11/18, the day her 4-year term expires." It was sent the day after Carol Lam had notifed the DoJ that she intended to serve search warrants to Foggo. It'll be interesting to hear Sampson explain that away.
3) Sampson repeatedly advocated for using the Patiot Act provision to circumvent Senate confirmation for Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove's former aide. Senators will want to hear about that, and why Alberto Gonzales and other DoJ officials told Congress that they did indeed plan to seek Senate confirmation.
4) How did Sampson know that Griffin's appointment was "important" to Karl Rove? And why did he tell Congress that Rove had no role in Griffin's appointment?
5) What was Rove's role in the firings in general? How often did he communicate with Rove, who is reportedly deeply involved in the appointment process, about the firings?
6) Why did he rate Patrick Fitzgerald as an "undistinguished" U.S. attorney?
7) Before he left, then Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who managed the U.S. attorneys, made up his own list of incompetent U.S. attorneys. It was completely different from Sampson's final list, save one -- the only one who indisputably had real performance issues. Why the difference?
There's more, to be sure. Are there other questions you're listening for answers to? Let us know in the comments.