It had been the administration's story that the only replacement already in mind was Karl Rove buddy Tim Griffin, who replaced Bud Cummins in Arkansas. Now it seems that a list had already circulated via e-mail with five replacements...months before the firings took place:
These documents uncover one of the most central and disconcerting contradictions we've seen so far," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). "We have been told that there were no backups in mind to replace the fired U.S. attorneys, and these documents make it clear that there were."
Sampson's attorney and a Justice spokesman said yesterday that the candidates listed were only tentative suggestions and were never seriously considered. Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the list "reflects Kyle Sampson's initial thoughts" and "in no way contradicts the department's prior statements" about the lack of a candidate list.