Go-Go Gonzo Go!

If you’re like me you can’t be shocked by the our AG anymore, its obvious he isn’t going away and its tempting to trying and just put him on ignore until we get a new president.

But this exchange is pretty sweet, and, because he has pissed everyone - Republican and Democrat - off, the very real threat of perjury charges begin to sound possible.


SCHUMER: I’d like to just pick up where Senator Specter left off, about the TSP program. Just a few preliminaries.
First, I take it that there was just one program that the president confirmed in 2005. There was not more than one.
GONZALES: He confirmed one, yes, intelligence activity. Yes, one program.
SCHUMER: Thank you. OK. Now, you – and you’ve repeatedly referred to the, quote “program,” that the president confirmed in December 2005. Let me just – I’m going to put up a chart here. Here’s what you said before this committee on February 6th of 2006. You said, quote, “There has not been any serious disagreement about the program the president has confirmed. With respect to what the president has confirmed, I do not believe that these DOJ officials that you were identifying had concerns about this program.” This was in reference to a question I asked you, “Was there any dissent here?”
This was before Comey came to testify. It was in February. But we had some thoughts that maybe that happened. And now, of course, we know from Jim Comey that virtually the entire leadership of the Justice Department was prepared to resign over concerns about a classified program. Disagreement doesn’t get more serious than that. And what program was the ruckus all about? And this is the important point here. At your press conference on June the 5th, it was precisely the program that you testified had caused no serious dissent. You said, “Mr. Comey’s testimony” – and he only testified once – “related to a highly classified program which the president confirmed to the American people some time ago.”
SCHUMER: These are your words, right? You don’t deny that these are your words. This was a public press conference.
GONZALES: I’m told that in fact here in the press conference I did misspeak, but I also went back and clarified it with the reporter.
SCHUMER: You did misspeak?
GONZALES: Yes. But I went back and clarified it with the reporter…
SCHUMER: When was that? And which – what was the reporter’s name?
GONZALES: At The Washington Post two days later.
GONZALES: Dan Eggen was the reporter.
SCHUMER: OK. Well, we’ll want to go follow up with him. But the bottom line is this: You just admitted there was just
one program that the president confirmed in December…
GONZALES: The president…
SCHUMER: … just one. Is that correct, sir?
GONZALES: The president talked about a set of activities…
SCHUMER: No, I am just asking you a yes-or-no simple question, just as Senator Specter has. And just like Senator Specter and others here, I’d like to get an answer to that question. You just said there was one program. Are you backing off that now?
GONZALES: The president…
SCHUMER: Was there one program or was there not that the president confirmed?
GONZALES: The president confirmed the existence of one set of intelligence activities.
SCHUMER: Fine. Now let’s go over it again, sir, because I think this shows clear as could be that you’re not being straightforward with this committee; that you’re deceiving us. You then – then you said in testimony to this committee in response to a question that I asked, “There has not been any disagreement about the program the president confirmed.” Then Jim Comey comes and talks about not just mild dissent, but dissent that shook the Justice Department to the rafters. And here, on June 5th, you say that Comey was testifying about the program the president confirmed. You, sir…
GONZALES: And I’ve already said…
GONZALES: … I have clarified my statement on June 5th. Mr. Comey was talking about a disagreement that existed with respect to other intelligence activities.
SCHUMER: How can we – this is constant, sir, in all due respect with you. You constantly make statements that are clear on their face that you’re deceiving the committee. And then you go back and say, “Well, I corrected the record two days later.” How can we trust your leadership when the basic facts about serious questions that have been in the spotlight, you just constantly change the story, seemingly to fit your needs to wiggle out of being caught, frankly, telling mistruths? It’s clear here. It’s clear. One program. That’s what you just said to me. That’s what locks this in. Because before that, you were, sort of, alluding – in your letter to me on May 17th, you said, “Well, there was one program,” – you said there was the program, TSP, and then there were other intelligence activities.
GONZALES: That’s correct.
SCHUMER: You wanted us to go away and say, “Well, maybe it was other” – wait a second, sir. Wait a second.
GONZALES: And the disagreements related to other intelligence activities.
SCHUMER: I’ll let you speak in a minute, but this is serious, because you’re getting right close to the edge right here.
You just said there was just one program – just one. So the letter, which was, sort of, intended to deceive, but doesn’t directly do so, because there are other intelligence activities, gets you off the hook, but you just put yourself right back on here.
GONZALES: I clarified my statement two days later with the reporter.
SCHUMER: What did you say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I did not speak directly to the reporter.
SCHUMER: Oh, wait a second – you did not.
OK. What did your spokesperson say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I don’t know. But I told the spokesperson to go back and clarify my statement…
SCHUMER: Well, wait a minute, sir. Sir, with all due respect – and if I could have some order here, Mr. Chairman – in all due respect, you’re just saying, “Well, it was clarified with the reporter,” and you don’t even know what he said. You don’t even know what the clarification is. Sir, how can you say that you should stay on as attorney general when we go through exercise like this, where you’re bobbing and weaving and ducking to avoid admitting that you deceived the committee? And now you don’t even know. I’ll give you another chance: You’re hanging your hat on the fact that you clarified the statement two days later. You’re now telling us that is was a spokesperson who did it. What did that spokesperson say? Tell me now, how do you clarify this?
GONZALES: I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you."

And where we might be going with all this


Today was brutal. Nice to see the gloves coming off here.

It was the same dodges we’ve seen for the last seven years, but this time they didn’t let him get away with it.

Is the special prosecutor statute still in force?

Heard it on NPR. It made me think of Nixon’s administration.

I’d suggest getting former senator George Mitchell, currently getting nowhere with the MLB steroids investigation.

Why? Because he’d get just as far with any investigation into Gonzales and/or the White House.

House Democrats, preparing for a vote today on contempt citations against President Bush’s chief of staff and former counsel, produced a report yesterday that for the first time alleges specific ways that several administration officials may have broken the law during the multiple firings of U.S. attorneys.

The report says that Congress’s seven-month investigation into the firings raises “serious concerns” that senior White House and Justice Department aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year may have obstructed justice and violated federal statutes that protect civil service employees, prohibit political retaliation against government officials and cover presidential records.

The memorandum says the probe has turned up evidence that some of the U.S. attorneys were improperly selected for firing because of their handling of vote fraud allegations, public corruption cases or other cases that could affect close elections. It also says that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senior Justice aides “appear to have made false or misleading statements to Congress, many of which sought to minimize the role of White House personnel.”

In addition, the memorandum asserts repeatedly that the president’s top political adviser, Karl Rove, was the first administration official to broach the idea of firing U.S. attorneys shortly after the 2004 election – an assertion the White House has said is not true.

In one of more than 300 footnotes, the Democrats point to a Jan. 6, 2005, e-mail from an assistant White House counsel that says that Rove “stopped by to ask . . . how we planned to proceed regarding U.S. attorneys, whether we were going to allow them to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them, or selectively replace them, etc.”

The memorandum says that lawmakers need access to White House information to determine whether laws were broken and to rewrite laws regarding U.S. attorneys.


[URL=“http://www.veracifier.com/episode/TPM_20070725”]Here are the highlights.

This guy is a hapless hack.

That video raises an interesting point about why Bush is so reluctant to let Gonzales go, though.

There are at least two explanations:

  • Bush doesn’t think he or his people are in the wrong. Why would you let someone go if that’s the case?

  • Bush doesn’t want to deal with what might get said if he does force him out.

Not really. Bush needs an AG who will play ball with the administration’s legally dubious bullshit. If Gonzalez were to leave the Senate would have to confirm a replacement, and there’s no way the Democrats in the Senate would give Bush anything less than an absolutely independent AG.

Bush will never fire Gonzo:

  1. A lot of the fire Al draws would otherwise be directed at the President.

  2. I believe, (correct me if I’m wrong legal types) that it is the Justice Department’s that would have to serve Miers and Bolton with contempt charges. I somehow don’t see that order being issued by the current AG.

  3. Gonzo is going to fix things, don’t you believe his testimony?

It’s actually all very neat for the administration. If congress issues the contempt charges the case would go before the D.C. U.S. attorney – Jeffrey Taylor, former aide to Gonzo – who is apparently under no obligation to pursue them.

I gather there’s all sorts of other bizarre angles congress might try like inherent contempt, but they go over my non-lawyer head.

Holy shit, that video was terrifying. This era is really going to go down in the books as a dark shitstain on American history.

The skid marks of America’s underwear?

A simpler tactic would be for Congress to simply impeach Gonzales and remove him from office. They already have grounds on which to do so, arguably, and if he does something as blatant as obstructing the case against Miers and Bolton, that’s a whole lot more fuel for the fire.

Ben: I’m not certain, but I’d imagine the GOP would almost certainly fillibuster in the Senate to prevent that from going anywhere. The house could vote on articles of impeachment, but I’m guessing they’d never go anywhere.

Why am I picturing this as part of a Tick monologue?

I wouldn’t count on anyone sticking his neck out for Gonzales.

Why not? Given the current media behavior the headline would be “Democrats in Senate fail to move forward with impeachment.”

GOP obstructionism is the political story of the past six months, and it’s not being reported on at all.