Here's the email frequently cited in today's press reports where Alberto Gonzales' right hand Kyle Sampson, responding to a question about whether U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins should testify before Congress, says, "I don't think he should."
It's clear why Sampson thought so. As Justice Department official Michael Elston wrote, relaying his conversation with Cummins, if he testified, Cummins âwould tell the truth about his circumstances.â The truth, of course, was that Cummins had been forced out in order to install Karl Rove's former aide Timothy Griffin in his spot -- something that Cummins knew because he had been told as much. And Sampson didn't want that, as he clearly illustrated.
How would Cummins answer, Sampson wanted to know, several uncomfortable questions? But there's one question in particular that raised even my eyebrows: "Did Griffin ever talk about being AG appointed and avoiding Senate confirmation?"
Sounds to me like Griffin was in on the scheme to have him installed by bypasssing the Senate.
In his two appearances before Congress, Cummins wasn't asked that question. But I know what my next call will be...
Update: I reached Cummins just now, and he replied (ever the Southern gentleman) with "My answer is a polite 'I don't want to talk about it.'... I don't want to appear to be in any way trying to injure Mr. Griffin's prospects as to whether or not he can serve as a U.S. Attorney." He did add, however, that he would answer that question if subpoenaed and put under oath before Congress.
Ed. Note: Thanks to TPM Reader tekel for catching this in the comments.