Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gonzales Drops White House In It

By Cernig

Michael Roston at Raw Story caught Gonzales revealing a new Bush 'conversation' over US attorney firings in his congressional testimony today.
Weeks after the White House ruled out the involvement of President George W. Bush in any discussions on the firing of 8 US Attorneys, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Thursday morning that the President had discussed the matter with advisers in an October 2006 meeting.

"I've now been made aware of the fact that there was a conversation with the President that basically mentioned the same thing in October of 2006," the Attorney General said while answering a question from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).

"The same thing" referred to voter fraud cases in three US Attorneys' districts, which Gonzales earlier acknowledged had been raised by Karl Rove in a meeting "sometime in the Fall of 2006."

Gonzales' statement varied from remarks by White House spokespersons that the President had not been involved in any discussions of firing US Attorneys.

"I have said on the record for several weeks now that there is no indication that the President knew about any of the ongoing discussions over the two years, nor did he see a list or a plan before it was carried out," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino on March 27, 2006.

Furthermore, in a March 21 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had been asked about a Nov. 15, 2006 e-mail from former Gonzales chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson to former White House Counsel Harriet Miers asking "Who will determine whether this requires the President's attention?"

Snow was then asked "did the President have to sign off on this?" referring to the firing of the Attorneys, to which he responded, "The President has no recollection of this ever being raised with him."

A reporter later clarified, "Just to follow, did you say, again for the record, that the President has no recollection of ever being asked about any of this?"

Snow answered, "Yes, the removal – yes, that is correct."
An aide to Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), told Raw Story the congressional committee will be investigating the matter further.

So now we know that the Schultzing goes to the very top. Which explains why Gonzales is so confident Bush won't fire him. Gonzales could really drop Bush in it if he no longer had to worry about his job. Murray Waas has the goods on just how hard the White House has worked to keep the sum of their involvement in AttorneyGate out of congressional oversight and just how complicit Gonzales is in making that happen.
The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove's, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The withheld records show that D. Kyle Sampson, who was then-chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, consulted with White House officials in drafting two letters to Congress that appear to have misrepresented the circumstances of Griffin's appointment as U.S. attorney and of Rove's role in supporting Griffin.

...Several of the e-mails that the Bush administration is withholding from Congress, as well as papers from the White House counsel's office describing other withheld documents, were made available to National Journal by a senior executive branch official, who said that the administration has inappropriately kept many of them from Congress.

The senior official said that Gonzales, in preparing for testimony before Congress, has personally reviewed the withheld records and has a responsibility to make public any information he has about efforts by his former chief of staff, other department aides, and White House officials to conceal Rove's role.

"If [Gonzales] didn't know everything that was going on when it went down, that is one thing," this official said. "But he knows and understands chapter and verse. If there was an effort within Justice and the White House to mislead Congress, it is his duty to disclose that to Congress. As the country's chief law enforcement official, he has a higher duty to disclose than to protect himself or the administration."
I tell you, trying to keep up with Gonzales and AttorneyGate is becoming an impossible task unless it's all you're going to write about. That can of worms just keeps expanding. Thank the Gods for Josh Marshall and the TPM crew.

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