Correction to This Article
A March 23 article about the dismissal of the U.S. attorney in Little Rock incorrectly said that D. Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, wrote in a June 13, 2006, e-mail to Gonzales's senior counsel, Monica Goodling, that "we are now executing this plan." In fact, Goodling wrote the e-mail to Sampson.
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E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), right, and the panel's ranking Republican, Arlen Specter (Pa.), before the committee approved subpoenas for White House officials. The panel, following similar action in the House, agreed to question Karl Rove and Harriet Miers about dismissals of U.S. attorneys. Story, A4.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), right, and the panel's ranking Republican, Arlen Specter (Pa.), before the committee approved subpoenas for White House officials. The panel, following similar action in the House, agreed to question Karl Rove and Harriet Miers about dismissals of U.S. attorneys. Story, A4. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

On Aug. 18, Rove aide J. Scott Jennings used an RNC e-mail address to arrange a telephone call about Griffin with Sampson and Goodling. "Tell us when, Scott, and we'll be on it," Sampson wrote back.

Less than an hour later, Goodling wrote to Sampson to fill him in on the latest complications.

"We have a senator prob, so while wh is intent on nominating, scott thinks we may have a confirmation issue," she wrote. "The possible solution I suggested to scott was that we (DOJ) pick him up as a political . . . and then install him as an interim" U.S. attorney.

"I agree but don't think it really should matter where we park him here," Sampson replied, "as AG will appoint him forthwith to be USA."

Within days, the e-mails show, Justice officials had arranged to hire Griffin into a political position in headquarters, at a salary of $142,900, then transfer him immediately to work in the U.S. attorney's office in Little Rock and await his nomination.

"Tim Griffin is here," Goodling wrote on Sept. 27, the morning he started at the agency.

As a result of this plan, Griffin had been in Little Rock for more than a month when he received an official Justice Department notice that he would be interviewed for the position of interim U.S. attorney. Goodling already had alerted him that the interview would be a formality, e-mails show.

Goodling and Battle, who had been told of the plan to install Griffin the previous spring, were two of the three interviewers during the session.

Staff writer Michael Abramowitz contributed to this report.


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