Pete Williams lets Abu off the hook.
Here's a shorter Abu:
1. I was not involved in the deliberation process for deciding who would and would not be asked to resign.
2. I know why I asked them to resign.
3. My reasons were not improper.
This is the cat's paw theory: a bad actor hides behind a group decision to shield the decision-making process from scrutiny. The group can't make an illegal decision if the bad actor doesn't tell it what the real motive is. So Al is hiding behind a phony wall. But how can he be so sure if he was so insulated from the deliberation process? He's stuck with the bad motives of the White House whether he likes it or not, but I don't believe for a minute that he wasn't well aware of why the USA 8 were asked to resign.