U.S. Attorney General may be facing perjury charges.

My what a difference a day or two makes. I recall listening to a news item on NPR on the way into work Tuesday about Gonzales’ scheduled grilling at the hands of Congress which pretty much everyone believed wouldn’t actually accomplish much of anything. More than one person, mostly Republicans, rhetorically wondered why the Democrats were insisting on wasting time on such a pointless activity:

“Nobody thinks this is consequential,” Rogers says. “Nobody thinks the attorney general’s job is on the line, so it’s just kind of going to be more of the same, and the Democrats and their sympathizers will have more to snicker about, but nothing will come of it.”

Then on the way home yesterday the news was abuzz with how the Attorney General may very well have perjured himself to Congress:

Specter later circled back to Gonzales on the matter, warning him: “My suggestion to you is you review your testimony to find out if your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable,” Specter said. The maximum penalty for being caught lying to Congress is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count. Specter wryly noted to reporters during a break that there is a jail in the Capitol complex.

Last night a statement was released saying that Gonzales stands by the testimony he gave to Congress yesterday which has finally resulted in a call today for a probe of Gonzales for perjury:

WASHINGTON – A group of Senate Democrats called Wednesday for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys and administration dissent over President Bush’s domestic surveillance program.

“We ask that you immediately appoint an independent special counsel from outside the Department of Justice to determine whether Attorney General Gonzales may have misled Congress or perjured himself in testimony before Congress,” four Democratic senators wrote in a letter Wednesday, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press.

“It has become apparent that the Attorney General has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements” to the Judiciary Committee, they added.

It’s still too early to tell if this will actually lead up to anything or not, but it’s certainly does my heart some good to see the A.G. getting tripped up in his own repeated lies. It also clearly illustrates why the Democrats are entirely in the right for repeatedly challenging the White House’s insistence that they’ll only allow administration members to testify in private and without swearing an oath. Had the A.G. been able to testify to Congress without being under oath and with no official record kept he probably wouldn’t be in the sticky situation he now finds himself in.

But what really amuses me about this whole mess is the following quote from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

“Reinforcing public confidence in the department is also critical, and will be one of my top priorities as attorney general for the remainder of my term,” Gonzales said in the prepared statement.

“I believe very strongly that there is no place for political considerations in the hiring of our career employees or in the administration of justice,” he said. “As such, these allegations have been troubling to hear. From my perspective, there are two options available in light of these allegations. I would walk away or I could devote my time, effort and energy to fix the problems. Since I have never been one to quit, I decided that the best course of action was to remain here and fix the problems.”

I had to laugh that bitter, cynical laugh that I have when I heard him promise he was going to keep his job in order to restore public confidence DOJ. Surely he must know that he’s the reason the public’s confidence is waining. However, just in case he really is that clueless, allow me to say:

Mr. Attorney General, if you’re truly serious about restoring public confidence then do us all a favor and quit. I realize there’s nothing stopping Bush from appointing someone even more dishonest and inept as you have been to the office, but it’s a chance I think most Americans at this point are willing to take.

12 thoughts on “U.S. Attorney General may be facing perjury charges.

  1. This is why I was so pissed at Clinton for lying about Lewinski.  Forever more when some ‘conservative’ lies about a war, or an energy policy, or political influence in the justice department, they can just say; “But Clinton lied about the blue dress!!!” while flipping the bird at Lady Justice.

  2. Think anybody will have the stones to ask John Ashcroft?

    Seriously, I just can’t believe that the Repubs are still trying to shield the President.  McCain’s campaign is imploding.  Thompson’s may never get off the ground.  Guiliani doesn’t appeal to the theocon base; Romney’s going to be absolutely gutted for his flip-flops, and Joe America can’t tell the difference between Brownback and Huckabee.

    Sadly, I don’t particularly want to see either Clinton or Obama in the White House.  But if the GOP “stays the course” (and all other things being equal), either Clinton or Obama could mail in their campaign and still take White House in 2008.

    That means a Democratic President backed by a Democratic majority in Congress.  And, as Will Rogers pointed out, the problem with teaching someone a lesson in meanness is that they typically learn it.  In particular, if Clinton is indeed as evil as the GOP likes to make her out to be, they should be thinking long and hard about the ramifications of “Executive Privilege” two years from now.

  3. But if the GOP “stays the course” (and all other things being equal), either Clinton or Obama could mail in their campaign and still take White House in 2008.

    Who would you like to see?

    And… this is why I’m so pissed at the Republicans right now.  The reason the Democratic party is such a mushy organization is that they had it too easy after Nixon (who was a great man with tragic flaws, IMO – Bush has the latter but is not the former).

  4. DOF: Forever more when some ‘conservative’ lies about a war, or an energy policy, or political influence in the justice department, they can just say; “But Clinton lied about the blue dress!!!” while flipping the bird at Lady Justice.

    :LOL: If it suits their ends they cannot put things in perspective, even the most petty flaws will be used as an excuse, and it’ll work to a large degree.

    Off-topic I’d be interested in democracy w/o political parties, where all choices were local independants and those who get elected to the different posts had to work together despite differences, might lack direction though (but democracy sacrifices direction for keeping itself in check anyway, it’d just be further down that road)

    cubiclegrrl: Think anybody will have the stones to ask John Ashcroft?

    dof had the stones :LOL:
    I shouldn’t laugh…

  5. DOF:  In the best of all possible worlds, Russ Feingold.  Pro’lly ain’t gonna happen, tho’…

  6. Yeah – I could see that.  Voted against authorizing invasion of Iraq, voted against Patriot Act because of infringements on civil liberties.  Mixed record on other issues indicates some degree of independence.

    Practically speaking, it’ll probably be Obama or Clinton.  I like Obama but wish he’d been a senator longer – he’s green.

  7. Not sure why anyone thinks Obama needs more Senate experience.  How long has it been since a Democrat Senator won?

    To me more political experience just means more people are in your pocket, your dreams of changing the world are gone, no progressiveness left, and you are likely to sell out first chance you get.  Few politicians have exhibited otherwise, Feingold being one and Ron Paul being the other popular one.

    One a different topic, why don’t you like Obama Cubiclegrrl?  I can understand not liking Clinton, but Obama has me a little baffled.

    [Update]
    Forgot to add, my ticket I would love to see, but will never happen:
    Obama Pres and Arnold S… vice pres

  8. Obama has made a few newbie political mistakes, mostly associating with people he should stay the hell away from.  But I’m OK with him.

    One thing a US president must not be is naive.  But he has more street smarts by far than Carter did.

  9. Webs:  No particular dislike.  Just think he’s still sort of a hothouse flower.  I thought his 15 minutes would be over ages ago.  Made the same mistake about Madonna, too.  wink  The fact that he’s still around with most of his patina intact is impressive, though, and I could yet be wooed…

  10. Well, what about this ticket:  Obama/Madonna?  Has a nice rhythm to it, don’t you think?

  11. dof had the stones LOL I shouldn’t laugh…

    In the words of the great philosopher Homer, “It happened to someone else, so it’s funny!!!”  LOL

    OK, it was Homer Simpson who said that.  And my memory of the event is mercifully a bit drug-addled…

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