Sens. Feingold, Schumer, Kennedy and Durbin have asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales if he cares to revise previous testimony after the revelations of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who gave contradictory testimony about Gonzales’ attempt to “take advantage of a very sick man.”
If you’ve been overwhelmed by Bush administration scandals and missed the details of this one, here’s a primer based on the testimony of Comey:
Excerpt from the senators’ letter to Alberto Gonzales dated May 16, 2007:
In very dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified that in March 2004, when you served as White House counsel, you were involved in “an effort to take advantage of a very sick man,” referring to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Specifically, Mr. Comey testified that you and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card went to Mr. Ashcroft’s bedside at George Washington Hospital, where he was in intensive care, in an effort to get him to agree to certify the legality of a classified program that he and Mr. Comey, who was serving as acting Attorney General at the time, had concluded should not be so certified. Mr. Comey stated that when the administration decided to go forward with reauthorizing this classified program without that certification, he and several other Justice Department officials, including possibly Attorney General Ashcroft himself, were ready to tender their resignations.
You testified last year before both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee about this incident. On February 6, 2006, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, you were asked whether Mr. Comey and others at the Justice Department had raised concerns about the NSA wiretapping program. You stated in response that the disagreement that occurred was not related to the wiretapping program confirmed by the President in December 2005, which was the topic of the hearing.
... We ask for your prompt response to the following question: In light of Mr. Comey’s testimony yesterday, do you stand by your 2006 Senate and House testimony, or do you wish to revise it?