The Bush "Justice" Department's coup of U.S. attorneys gets a hearing in Washington today from, among others, former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins of Little Rock, sacked to make way for a Karl Rove crony who has since vowed never to submit himself to Senate confirmation because he doesn't want to be asked about his political activities. (You'd think if Tim Griffin plans a political career in Arkansas -- and does the sun rise in the East -- he'd want to deal sooner rather than later with reports of his ties to efforts to suppress the black vote in Florida. The issue ain't going away. Nor, Tim, are reporters who want to ask the question.)
As a runup, the story gets juicier. The ousted U.S. attorney in Maryland now says Republican unhappiness with his corruption probe figured in his firing. And, after dodging for weeks, U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico now admits that she, as well as U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, intervened in a political case being investigated by the U.S. attorney fired there. Readers overnight noted that the "Justice" Department has reportedly promised retribution against those who speak out.
This is a sordid mess. Just the kind of thing you'd expect from the Karl Rove political operation. An honorable person in the middle of this mess would do the honorable thing, step down so that absolutely no taint would linger in an office that Arkansas citizens look to for full, fair and nonpartisan application of the law. Don't hold your breath. The Bushistas never quit and never admit error, no matter how ill-conceived the plan. See Iraq.
UPDATE -- Go here and watch the hearing live. And report to the blog. I've got some other things to attend to.