The Justice Department is investigating whether Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales sought to improperly influence the testimony of a departing senior aide, two of its senior officials said yesterday, adding a new dimension to the troubles already besetting the nation's chief law enforcement official.
The Justice Department officials, in a letter released yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, said their inquiry into the firings of nine U.S. attorneys includes an examination of a meeting Gonzales held in mid-March with his then-aide Monica M. Goodling, who testified last month that the attorney general's comments during the session made her feel "a little uncomfortable."
The topic of discussion at the meeting was what had happened in the months leading up to firings of the U.S. attorneys, and Gonzales recounted his recollection of events before asking for her reaction, according to Goodling's congressional testimony in May. She said Gonzales's comments discomfited her because both Congress and the Justice Department had already launched investigations of the dismissals.
Goodling's account attracted attention partly because Gonzales had told Congress that he could not remember numerous details about the prosecutors' dismissals because he had purposely avoided discussing the issue with other potential "fact witnesses."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse repeated yesterday a previous statement by Gonzales that the attorney general never sought to influence Goodling's testimony. A White House spokesman also reiterated that President Bush "fully supports the attorney general," who this week was the target of an unsuccessful no-confidence vote organized by Senate Democrats. ...
"It's remarkable that he's under investigation and that he's still attorney general," said Stephen Gillers, a professor at New York University School of Law. "At some point, it can no longer be done internally. This cannot be done by Gonzales's subordinates."
Saturday, June 16, 2007
LSB: Why is he still the Attorney General? Would Gonzo overlook obstruction of justice and lying under oath from a Democratic Senator? Doubt it, so why hasn't the Senate passed their "non-binding No Confidence" vote? Oh, that's right - RepubliCON minions of the White House used procedural manuevers to block a vote that would have shown them supporting this scum bucket.