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Harry Earnest "Bud" Cummins III is a former United States Attorney of five years in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Career

Cummins was born in Enid, Oklahomamarker. After moving to Little Rock, Arkansasmarker, and working in the construction business, Cummins obtained a law degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law. Subsequently, he was a law clerk for United States Magistrate Judge John F. Forster, Jr., and later was a clerk to Chief United States District Judge Stephen M. Reasoner. Soon after Cummins set up his own private law practice.

In 1996 he ran as a Republican for Congress, losing the vote 52 percent to 48 percent, to Democrat Vic Snyder in a race noted for personal attacks. He later served as Governor Mike Huckabee's Chief Legal Counsel.

In November 2001, George W. Bush appointed him as a United States Attorney.

Controversy over dismissal

Cummins received national attention when he was dismissed by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez despite having received positive job reviews.Cummins had been informed in June 2006 that his resignation would be desired, and as part of the transition, his replacement, Tim Griffin, worked for Cummins' office as a special assistant attorney from September 2006 onward.Cummins that day resigned effective December 20, 2006. He has been called "one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas".

Early in the Congressional investigations of the firings, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty testified that Cummins was removed for no reason except to install a former aide to Karl Rove: 37-year-old Timothy Griffin, a former Republican National Committee opposition research director.

Cummins, apparently, "was ousted after Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, intervened on behalf of Griffin."Cummins told the Senate Judiciary Committee "that Mike Elston, the deputy attorney general's top aide, threatened him with retaliation in a phone call [in February 2007] if he went public." Emails show that Cummins passed on the warning to some of the other Attorneys who were fired.

Reportedly Monica Goodling "took a leading role in making sure that Tim Griffin, a protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, replaced H.E. "Bud" Cummins as the U.S. attorney in Arkansas. Documents released to Congress include communications between Goodling and Scott Jennings, Rove's deputy."

Cummins answered a House Judiciary Committee interrogatory about the experience:

Investigations

Cummins had been investigating Missourimarker Governor Matt Blunt's Administration in regard to allegations that certain individuals that worked for Blunt had violated the law in the awarding of fee offices." On October 4, 2006, Cummins himself announced that the investigation had concluded and that no charges were filed against anyone. "Cummins' statement at the time included a specific reference to Blunt, which he acknowledged was unusual, but was consistent with department policies and justified in light of leaks and erroneous reporting. The statement made clear that 'at no time was Governor Blunt a target, subject, or witness in the investigation, nor was he implicated in any allegation being investigated. Any allegations or inferences to the contrary are uninformed and erroneous.'"Cummins has stated on more than one occasion that he does not believe the Missouri investigation had anything to do with his dismissal.

References

  1. Unofficial Ballot Results
  2. Placid pace marks 2nd District race
  3. Sabin, Warwick. End around: Senators question U.S. attorney appointment. Arkansas Times, December 28, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  4. Cohen, Adam. Editorial Observer: Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics New York Times, February 26, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  5. http://judiciary.house.gov/media/pdfs/DOJDocsPt3-6070319.pdf Emails release by the House Judiciary Committee, email of Feb 20, 2007, page 17
  6. Q & A from Committee for Bud Cummins (no date). United States House Committee on the Judiciary Retrieved May 18, 2007. (Written responses by Bud Cummins to committee interrogatories, post-hearing.)
  7. Springfield Business Journal - Online Edition
  8. http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/D015454DE6563E4C862572A10003B69A?OpenDocument



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