Bud Cummins

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Bud Cummins
Bud Cummins.jpg
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas
In office
December 20, 2001 – December 20, 2006
Preceded byPaula Casey
Succeeded byTim Griffin
Personal details
Born (1959-08-06) August 6, 1959 (age 60)
Enid, Oklahoma, U.S.
Spouse(s)Jody A. Cummins
Alma materUniversity of Arkansas (BSBA, JD)
OccupationLawyer

Harry Earnest Cummins, III, known as Bud Cummins (born August 6, 1959),[1] is an attorney, businessman and politician. He served as United States Attorney with five years of service from 2001 to 2006 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Career[edit]

Cummins was born in Enid, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he eventually moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1989, he obtained a law degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Subsequently, he served as a law clerk for United States Magistrate Judge John F. Forster, 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 2000, he was an elector representing the Arkanas's second electoral district at the electoral college and cast his vote for George W. Bush.[2] In 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush nominated Cummins as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas,[3] a position that he held until 2006. During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, his office successfully investigated and prosecuted several high-profile cases including the conviction of a group responsible for the largest theft of electronic personal identity data up to that time.[4]

After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cummins re-entered private practice, specializing in white collar criminal matters, complex multi-party litigation, and compliance. His firm provides compliance services to state regulated cannabis cultivation and dispensary companies.

In 2017, Cummins joined Avenue Strategies, a consulting, advocacy, public affairs and management group in Washington D.C.

Cummins now practices as both a lawyer and a lobbyist, also represents DOJ white collar targets in the U.S. or international clients targeted by DOJ or the Treasury Department.

In 2015, Cummins re-entered the political arena when he agreed to serve as the Arkansas Chairman for the presidential campaign of Governor Chris Christie. Cummins and Christie served together as U.S. Attorneys during the George W. Bush administration. After Christie withdrew from the 2016 presidential primary race, Cummins subsequently agreed to serve as Arkansas Chairman of the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign.

Cummins served as a Trump Whip at the Republican National Convention, held in Cleveland in July 2016. In September 2016, Cummins temporarily relocated to Washington, DC to serve on the Trump presidential transition team.

Controversy over dismissal[edit]

Cummins received national attention when he was dismissed by United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales despite having received positive job reviews.[5]

Cummins was informed in June 2006 that his resignation would be desired, and as part of the transition, his replacement, Tim Griffin, had worked for Cummins' office as a special assistant United States attorney since September 2006 onward.[6][7][8] Cummins resigned effective December 20, 2006. He was called "one of the most distinguished lawyers in Arkansas".[9]

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 Tim Griffin, a former opposition research director for the Republican National Committee.[10][11] Cummins, apparently, "was ousted after Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, intervened on behalf of Griffin."[12] 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 sub-par attorney based solely on statements made by his intra-party rival, Tim 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."[13] Emails show that Cummins passed on the warning to some of the other Attorneys who were fired.[14]

Reportedly Monica Goodling, who formerly worked for Tim Griffin at the Republican National Committee, "took a leading role in making sure that Griffin replaced Cummins. Documents released to Congress include communications between Goodling and Scott Jennings, Rove's deputy."[15]

Cummins answered a House Judiciary Committee interrogatory about the experience:[16]

Cummins had been investigating Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's (R) administration regarding allegations that certain individuals that worked for Blunt had violated the law in the awarding of fee offices.[17] 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.'" [18] Cummins has stated on more than one occasion that he does not believe the Missouri investigation had anything to do with his dismissal.

Role in Trump-Ukraine scandal[edit]

On November 24, 2019, Cummins' name came to light in relation to the Trump-Ukraine scandal. In response to inquiries from reporters with TPM[19] and ABC News,[20] Cummins confirmed that as early as October 2018 he had acted "as an intermediary between certain Ukrainian interests and federal law enforcement."[19] This role came up in a letter sent by Rudy Giuliani to Senator Lindsey Graham on the previous day (November 23, 2019), and although Giuliani did not name him, Cummins confirmed that he was the intermediary referred to in Giuliani's letter. Cummins noted to the reporters that he had not vetted the Ukrainian interests who contacted him, who he declined to name. He further noted that, in his communication to Manhattan U.S. attorney (SDNY) Geoffrey Berman, he asserted that he couldn't vouch for the veracity of the Ukrainian information, but was passing it along as a matter he considered appropriate for further investigation by an appropriate Federal law enforcement agency. Cummins noted that he took no further actions in this matter once Giuliani's role became public.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Guide To The Congressional Races: Arkansas". Time. 1996-11-04.
  2. ^ https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2000/print_friendly.html?page=members_content.html&title=U.%20S.%20Electoral%20College
  3. ^ "Congressional Record: Daily digest". Government Printing Office. 30 November 2001: D590. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ at 14:30, John Leyden 23 Feb 2006. "Acxiom database hacker jailed for 8 years". www.theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  5. ^ Johnston, David (2007-03-08). "Inquiry Into Ouster of U.S. Attorneys Moves Toward Subpoenas at Justice Department". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-03-16.
  6. ^ Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein (2007-03-23). "E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
  7. ^ Sabin, Warwick. End around: Senators question U.S. attorney appointment. Arkansas Times, December 28, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Cohen, Adam. Editorial Observer: Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics 'The New York Times, February 26, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  10. ^ Kevin Johnson (2007-02-06). "Prosecutor fired so ex-Rove aide could get his job". USA Today.
  11. ^ Eric Lichtblau, Eric Lipton (2009-08-11). "E-Mail Reveals Rove's Key Role in '06 Dismissals". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  12. ^ David Johnston (2007-02-16). "White House Is Reported to Be Linked to a Dismissal". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Robert Schmidt (2007-03-06). "Fired Prosecutor Says He Was Warned to Keep Quiet (Update2)". Bloomberg News.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-05-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Emails release by the House Judiciary Committee, email of Feb 20, 2007, page 17
  15. ^ "Who is Monica Goodling?". McClatchy Newspapers. 2007-03-26. Archived from the original on 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
  16. ^ 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.)
  17. ^ Springfield Business Journal - Online Edition
  18. ^ http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/D015454DE6563E4C862572A10003B69A?OpenDocument[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ a b Kovensky, Josh (November 24, 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: Bud Cummins Tried To Interest US Law Enforcement In Ukraine Dirt On Bidens". talkingpointsmemo.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Levine, Mike (November 24, 2019). "Before working with Giuliani, Ukrainian official hired Trump-linked lobbyist to relay anti-Biden claims in US". abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.

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