Monday, February 26, 2007

Times editorial criticizes firing of U. S. attorneys

The firing of a large number of U. S. attorneys, including H. E. Cummins III of Arkansas, is criticized in an editorial in today's New York Times:

The firing of H. E. Cummins III is raising as many questions as Ms. Lam’s. Mr. Cummins, one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas, is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. But he was forced out to make room for J. Timothy Griffin, a former Karl Rove deputy with thin legal experience who did opposition research for the Republican National Committee. (Mr. Griffin recently bowed to the inevitable and said he will not try for a permanent appointment. But he remains in office indefinitely.)

The editorial notes:

The Justice Department concedes that Mr. Cummins was doing a good job in Little Rock. An obvious question is whether the administration was more interested in his successor’s skills in opposition political research — let’s not forget that Arkansas has been lucrative fodder for Republicans in the past — in time for the 2008 elections.

Of course, another coincidence (?) is that Cummins was fired as he was in the middle of a probe into the awarding of lucrative license fee offices in Missouri.

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