One of the U.S. Attorneys who was fired in a scandal that lead to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during the Bush administration remains critical of the man who replaced him — and who is now running for Congress.
“He had a role [in the attorney firings scandal], and I think its been documented in the investigations,” Bud Cummins said of Tim Griffin, the former Karl Rove aide who replaced Cummins and is now running for Congress in Arkansas 2nd District.
Still, Cummins said he didn’t want to take a position on the race. But he said that just because nobody was ultimately charged doesn’t mean there wasn’t wrongdoing. “I think it would be wrong to take that prosecution decision, which is a declination they declined the prosecution, and over-read into it that it was some kind of exoneration,” Cummins said. “It was clear from all the data and all the analysis that there was some wrongdoing and there was some lies being told.”
Another ousted U.S. Attorney, Paul Charlton, had much more to say.
“Character matters,” Charlton said. “And I don’t think people change over a short period of time. Most people can change their ways over a long period of time and a good bit of reflection, but I think Mr. Griffin is the same person today as he was when he sought the position of U.S. attorney. The true Griffin is the individual we saw reflected in emails he was sending to Karl Rove, for example, saying he would name his first child after Rove if it was a boy, or slandering Bud or crying at the Clinton Library in a talk about Public Service. Those are examples of the individual that now wants to represent Arkansas in Congress.”
Five of the former U.S attorneys — Carol Lam, David Iglesias, John McKay, along with Charlton and Cummins — had gathered at the event sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Back in January, the five discussed the scandal at Arizona State University College of Law.
“A lot of people who know me will tell you that I’m probably the least political animal of the Bush administration,” Gonzales said in an interview with The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Be sure to check out TPM’s comprehensive timeline of the U.S. attorney firings.
Video of Cummins below.