The finest legal minds of Blogtopia have been wrestling with the fine points of whether a perjury charge could be made to stick against AG Gonzales for some time now. I've read a lot of arguments pro and con and much debate on just what program Georgie's Fredo was referring to. I've been reserving my own judgments until the wonks worked out the details but at this point I have to agree with Glenn, who has reversed his thinking on the matter.
Anonymous Liberal makes a compelling case for a perjury conviction. Read the whole thing, but here's one of my favorite quotes.
But unfortunately for Gonzales, he said a lot of other things at the hearing as well. For instance, the following exchange took place between Gonzales and Senator Leahy:LEAHY: So I'm sure you've had time to check for the answer during the lunch hour. So I come to you again with it: When did the Bush administration come to the conclusion that the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against Al Qaida also authorized warrantless wiretapping of Americans inside the United States?Whoops. The Patriot Act was enacted in October 2001. So Gonzales has conceded here that the "terrorist surveillance program" was authorized all the way back in 2001.
GONZALES: Sir, the authorization of this program began...
LEAHY: I can't hear you. Can you pull your mike a little bit...
GONZALES: Pardon me. The authorization regarding the terrorist surveillance program occurred subsequent to the authorization to use military force and prior to the Patriot Act.
I think that explains why the White House won't explain the AG's linguistic cha cha. In order to correct his own lies, Gonzales would have to expose the administration's lies about the illegal program. AL also gives up the quote of the day from Fredo himself.
GONZALES: Nothing would excuse false statements before the Congress.
Ah then, let the indictments begin.