We'll have more later, but courtesy of PoliticsTV.com, here are Kyle Sampson's opening statements.
Does it sound to anyone else like Karl Rove wrote his opening statement? The unapologetic tone for essentially admitting that the US Attorneys were fired for political reasons and the glossing over of the contradicting and changing reasons given earlier sounds like it's right out of the Architect's playbook.
Don't miss the fact that the Republicans, as is their wont, called for a vote in the middle of the meeting, necessitating Leahy to leave.
The thing that I think the Senate Democrats need to ask Sampson about his view that firing the USAs for political reasons is acceptable is where is that line drawn? When is it no longer acceptable to put party above justice (small j, not the department, but the ideal)? Is Sampson's defense of these firings under the rather Nixonian concept that if the President does it, it's not against the law? There's some evidence (which may be amplified if other DoJ employees testify) that at least one USA was fired to prevent her from pursuing a case against a Republican. Smells like "obstruction of justice" to me. Do they really want to go down that road?
BREAKING: The hearing has apparently been called off on GOP objections, invoking a seldom-used Senate procedure. Developing....
UPDATE #2: Apparently, things are getting cleared up and the hearing is on again. For those of you who don't get C-Span 3, you can watch the hearings live here. (h/t Itinerant)