Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mueller's notes confirm Ashcroft hospital story

The notes the House Judiciary Committee asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to provide after testimony a couple of weeks ago that seemed to contradict testimony from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been released, and they confirm the underhanded trick the White House tried to pull on former Attorney General Ascroft back in 2004, when the Justice Department raised concerns about the NSA's surveillance program. Ashcroft was in the hospital with pancreatitis (and "frail" and "stressed" according to Mueller's notes) when the Justice Dept. refused to sign off on renewing the program and Gonzales (then White House counsel) and then chief-of-staff Andrew Card went to the hospital room to try to badger him into changing his mind.

This White House made John Ashcroft look like a civil libertarian. Amazing.

I still don't know whether this warrants perjury charges against Gonzales. He seems to have used lawyerly language to come up just short of outright perjury. But he clearly has been less than frank, even deceptive and unforthcoming in responding to congressional committees. I know he maybe Dubya's last comfortable Texas loyalist left, but he really ought to resign.

No comments: