Bud Cummins

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Bud Cummins
Bud Cummins.jpg
Born (1959-08-06) August 6, 1959 (age 57)
Enid, Oklahoma
Alma mater University of Arkansas,
UALR School of Law
Occupation Former United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice

Harry Earnest "Bud" Cummins III (born August 6, 1959)[1] is a former United States Attorney of five years in the Eastern District of Arkansas.


Cummins was born in Enid, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he eventually moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, working for a time in various management roles in the construction business. In 1989, Cummins obtained a law degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law, known then as the UALR School of Law. Subsequently, he served as a law clerk for United States Magistrate Judge John F. Forster, Jr., and later was clerk to Chief United States District Judge Stephen M. Reasoner. After his federal clerkships, he set up a private law practice.

In 1996 he ran as a Republican for Congress, losing roughly 52 percent to 48 percent, to Democrat Vic Snyder. He later served as Governor Mike Huckabee's Chief Legal Counsel. In 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Cummins as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas,[2] where he served until 2006.

Controversy over dismissal[edit]

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy
( )
G. W. Bush administration officials involved
Involved administration officials who resigned
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
110th Congress
U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary
110th Congress

Cummins received national attention when he was dismissed by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales despite having received positive job reviews.[3] Cummins was 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 United States attorney from September 2006 onward.[4][5][6] Cummins resigned effective December 20, 2006. He has been called "one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas".[7]

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.[8][9] Cummins, apparently, "was ousted after Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, intervened on behalf of Griffin."[10] In fact, White House emails uncovered during investigations showed that Griffin laid the groundwork for the dismissal of Cummins, telling staff members in the White House that Cummins was widely seen by members of the Arkansas bar as "lazy" and "ineffective." Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings later testified that they believed Cummins to be a subpar incumbent, based solely on statements made by 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."[11] Emails show that Cummins passed on the warning to some of the other Attorneys who were fired.[12]

Reportedly Monica Goodling, who formerly worked for Tim Griffin at the Republican National Committee, "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."[13]

Cummins answered a House Judiciary Committee interrogatory about the experience:[14]


Cummins had been investigating Missouri 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."[15] 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.'" [16] Cummins has stated on more than one occasion that he does not believe the Missouri investigation had anything to do with his dismissal.


  1. ^ "A Guide To The Congressional Races: Arkansas". Time. 1996-11-04. 
  2. ^ "Congressional Record: Daily digest". Government Printing Office. 30 November 2001: D590. 
  3. ^ Johnston, David (2007-03-08). "Inquiry Into Ouster of U.S. Attorneys Moves Toward Subpoenas at Justice Department". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-03-16. 
  4. ^ Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein (2007-03-23). "E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  5. ^ Sabin, Warwick. End around: Senators question U.S. attorney appointment. Arkansas Times, December 28, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  6. ^ Hartley, Allegra (2007-03-21). "Timeline: How the U.S. Attorneys Were Fired". US News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Kevin Johnson (2007-02-06). "Prosecutor fired so ex-Rove aide could get his job". USA Today. 
  9. ^ Eric Lichtblau, Eric Lipton (2009-08-11). "E-Mail Reveals Rove’s Key Role in ’06 Dismissals". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  10. ^ David Johnston (2007-02-16). "White House Is Reported to Be Linked to a Dismissal". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ Robert Schmidt (2007-03-06). "Fired Prosecutor Says He Was Warned to Keep Quiet (Update2)". Bloomberg News. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-05-16.  Emails release by the House Judiciary Committee, email of Feb 20, 2007, page 17
  13. ^ "Who is Monica Goodling?". McClatchy Newspapers. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  14. ^ Q & A from Committee for Bud Cummins Archived June 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. (no date). United States House Committee on the Judiciary Retrieved May 18, 2007. (Written responses by Bud Cummins to committee interrogatories, post-hearing.)
  15. ^ Springfield Business Journal - Online Edition
  16. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/D015454DE6563E4C862572A10003B69A?OpenDocument[permanent dead link]