Excerpt from Released Karl Rove Testimony (p276)

Mr. Mincberg. Mr. Rove, I want to ask you about a couple of other U.S. Attorneys who had been mentioned as possibilities for termination, but hadn’t, in fact, been terminated during the Bush administration. Again, it is public knowledge that Dunn Lampton, who was then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, was on that first draft of the firing list in March 2005. Do you have any idea why?
A No.
Q During your time at the White House did you ever hear any criticisms or concerns about Mr. Lampton’s performance?
A No.
Q Did you ever hear any praise or support for Mr. Lampton?
A No.
Q Did you have any discussions or receive any information about Mr. Lampton?
A No. Surprising, since I have family in southern Mississippi.
Q Did you have any involvement with the selection or nomination of Mr. Lampton to become U.S. Attorney?
A Yes. In 2001, yes.
Q Okay. Explain.
A Well, I don’t recall —
Mr. Flood. Can I just say I believe that this is outside the scope of our agreement? And I have been, you know, somewhat liberal about that scope issue, but at this hour, after all this, I intend to be a little more rigorous. I just don’t see —
Mr. Mincberg. Well, we can have a long discussion about it or we can just go forward with questions that I think, based on our previous pace, we can get answered fairly directly. But are you directing the witness not to answer the question, Mr. Flood?
Mr. Flood. No, but if you would be good enough to cite to me the provision of the agreement that you think justifies asking questions about appointments in 2001, when, as I think we all understand, we are here to talk about decisions to replace, remove, et cetera, I would be grateful.
Mr. Mincberg. Well, again, for the record, the agreement clearly includes the retention of U.S. Attorneys. And Mr. Lampton was specifically identified in an e-mail that we got from the Obama White House, and which was represented you had been informed about and agreed to, as one of the individuals whose retention we would talk about. And relevant to that, I think, is Mr. Rove’s involvement with respect to the selection.
Mr. Flood. Boy, and I think this is where we part company. The idea that somebody’s retention in 2005 or -6 or what have you is such, its scope and the implications of that, the circumstances of his appointment, which I assume is around 2001, is somehow relevant to that, I just don’t see it.
Mr. Mincberg. Are you directing the witness not to answer?
Mr. Flood. No. But I am asking you again to point to the provision of the agreement that authorizes your question. And if you want, I am going to let the question go, because it is, you know, no sense my wasting any more time than you are wasting. But that is where we are.
Mr. Mincberg. Well, I believe that I do not want to take the witness’s time with that at this point. I will be happy to provide that to you later. As long as you are not directing the witness not to answer, I think I would like to go forward with the question.
Mr. Flood. You know, I would have been grateful to hear just what specific provision of the agreement authorizes questions about the appointment of Mr. Lampton in 2001. I haven’t gotten it from you. But I am not going to — you know, if you want to go there now, I am prepared to allow it because, you know, we have wasted already too much time here.
Mr. Mincberg. I agree.
Mr. Flood. Ask away.
Mr. Mincberg. I agree with the notion of wasting too much time. And I will make a statement to that effect for the record. But I don’t want to take the witness’s time to do it now.
BY MR. MINCBERG: Q Could you then answer the question?
A I don’t recall the specific individual in question. The State has two Republican Senators. One of them, in particular, has strong feelings about anything that is connected with southern Mississippi. I speak of former Senator Lott. I would suspect that we were given a small list of names, and checked them out and found probably all of them acceptable, or at least this one was found to be acceptable and — after they passed through the Judicial Selection committee and the interview process at Justice. I have no specific recollection.
Q Okay. And so you don’t recall who, in particular, from Mississippi advocated for Mr. Lampton’s selection?
A No.
Q Did the subject of Mississippi trial lawyers arise during the selection or nomination process?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did the subject of alleged corruption in the State judiciary arise?
A Not that I recall.
Q Did the subject of Mississippi Attorney Paul Minor ever arise?
A Not that I recall.
Q How about Mississippi Judges Oliver Diaz, Wes Teel, or John Whitfield?
A Not that I recall.

Q Now, again it is also public knowledge that Mr. Lampton does not appear on that January 2006 edition of the potential termination list, which again I think you testified you did not see, correct?
A Correct.
Q Do you have any idea whether anyone from the White House suggested that Mr. Lampton be removed from the list?
A No.
Q Do you or anyone at OPA ever communicate about Mr. Lampton with anyone at the Department of Justice?
A Not that I am aware of.
Q Do you have any knowledge of Mr. Lampton’s investigation or prosecution of Mississippi Attorney Paul Minor?
A No, I don’t.
Q Do you know whether you or anyone at OPA ever communicated about the investigation or prosecution of Paul Minor?
A No.
Q You say no, you don’t know, or —
A I didn’t. I don’t know if anybody in OPA did. I find it highly unlikely.
Q Why do you say that?
A You are asking about a distant part of the country and cases; and I repeat, it was not the policy of the White House to directly or indirectly attempt to influence any specific case.
Q So as far as you can recall, you have never discussed the investigation or prosecution of Mr. Minor with anyone at all; is that correct?
A Anybody in the White House.
Q Have you discussed it with anyone?
A I remember reading about it — I don’t know which one of the Mississippi cases this is, but the — Mr. Scruggs and everything else makes for entertaining reading. I don’t know if Mr. Minor is involved in that.
Q So do you recall having any discussions of the prosecution of Mr. Minor with anyone at all?
A Maybe my wife; maybe my brother-in-law, who is the John Deere dealer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or my sister-in-law. Q Let me ask the same question with respect to the Mississippi judges that I mentioned — Oliver Diaz, Wes Teel, or John Whitfield? A None of those names are familiar. If they were a part of the whole Scruggs bribery, then I have read about them and I have talked about them — if not by name, by position — with my in-laws. I hope that doesn’t violate a law.

Q And so I take it you have no idea or information one way or the other as to whether the prosecution of Mr. Minor, Mr. Diaz, Mr. Teel, or Mr. Whitfield had anything to do with removing Mr. Lampton’s name on the list of possible U.S. Attorney replacements?
A No.