Monday, April 16, 2007

Gonzo's Lies Await



"I have nothing to hide"-Fredo Gonzales
Last week, the White House acknowledged it could not locate four years' worth of e-mails from Rove that may relate to the firings. Since then, it agreed to the Senate panel's request to hire an outside computer forensics expert to help recover some of the lost e-mails.
...

Leahy Doubts Bush Aides on Lost E-Mails
"I understand his point, but he's wrong," spokeswoman Dana Perino said of Leahy.

"We're being very honest and forthcoming," she added. "I hope that he would understand the spirit in which we have come forward and tried to explain how we screwed up our policy and how we're working to fix it."

Press Secretary Nose

WITHOUT A TRACE: The Missing White House Emails and the Violations of the Presidential Records Act, detailing the legal issues behind the story of the White House e-mail scandal.

Officials' e-mails may be missing from the documents last dumped by the White House.



Attorneys assessed long before firings
the administration prized attorneys who shared its Republican ideology. For instance, the personnel charts of some prosecutors note their membership in the conservative Federalist Society.
...
"The list," he said, "reflects Kyle Sampson's initial thoughts, not pre-selected candidates by the administration."




House Subpoenas JD

But his prepared remarks conflict with some details already released by the Justice Department and former aides. They include:

_Gonzales' statement that he became aware of the process to replace U.S. attorneys "shortly after the 2004 election and soon after I became attorney general." However, a Jan. 9, 2005, e-mail notes a discussion of the topic "a couple of weeks ago" between Gonzales and his former top aide, Kyle Sampson. Gonzales was confirmed as attorney general on Feb. 3, 2005.

_Gonzales' recollection that he received a few, brief updates about the firing plans. "During those updates, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign," he wrote. Sampson, by contrast, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 29 that he remembered discussions with Gonzales regarding "this process of asking certain U.S. attorneys to resign."

_Gonzales' claim that he was not involved in selecting who would replace the targeted prosecutors. "I do not recall making any decision, either on or before December 7, 2006, about who should replace the U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign that day," he wrote. But the Justice documents include a January 2006 list of names compiled by Sampson of possible replacements. Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse has said those suggested replacements were merely proposals, and that none was selected before the prosecutors were told to resign.

_Gonzales' written statement maintaining he had only an indirect role in the firings but approved the final recommendations "near the end of the process." On March 13, however, Gonzales said he "was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on." That was contradicted by e-mails showing he attended a Nov. 27, 2006, meeting about the dismissals.

Moreover, the former Justice official tasked with overseeing the prosecutors told congressional investigators that a memo about the firings was released at the Nov. 27 meeting, according to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. That official, Michael Battle, also said he "was not aware of performance problems with respect to several of the U.S. attorneys" when he called to fire them, according to Schumer.




Perino on Domenici Call: "I Haven't Asked"
"I think the attorney general has been perfectly honest," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Monday.


end

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