"Cummins: Now The Bush Administration Is Lying About Me"
Bud Cummins is the former U.S. Attorney for Arkansas who was pushed out to make room for Karl Rove protege Tim Griffin.
Interviewed two weeks ago on Fox News Sunday, Cummins said that while he was seriously concerned about the administration’s treatment of the seven other purged prosecutors, he knew why he was fired and said the White House had been honest about it:
In my case, I served at the pleasure of the president. They asked me to leave. I left. And they told the truth almost consistently throughout this about my situation.
So I really don’t think this is as much about me as it is the positions they’ve taken to try and explain the other seven. And that’s where I personally am still very concerned, because I don’t think they’ve been fair to the other seven colleagues at all.
But during his testimony on Thursday, Kyle Sampson suggested that Cummins was also let go for performance-related reasons. During a speech in Arkansas, Cummins was livid:
Cummins objected to the testimony of Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in Sampson’s appearance Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sampson told senators he believed each of the federal prosecutors fired late last year by the Justice Department was replaced because of problems related to his or her performance in office.
“If they’re starting to say that I had performance problems, then I have the same gripe the other seven have, because it’s a lie,” said Cummins, a Republican Bush appointee who was removed as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and replaced by Tim Griffin, former assistant to White House political adviser Karl Rove.
Cummins said if he were to comment further on Sampson’s testimony, “I’d need a censor.”
Cummins also said during his speech that he was “astounded” by Sampson’s suggestion that “political success and success as a prosecutor are one and the same.” In an op-ed today for Salon.com, Cummins writes, “Being credible is like being pregnant — you either are, or you aren’t. … Once you have given the public a reason to believe some of your decisions are improperly motivated, then they are going to question every decision you have made, or will make in the future.”