Friday, May 11, 2007

Gonzales on the Warm Seat

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made another appearance on Capitol Hill, this time before the House Judiciary Committee, to answer questions about the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 -- add Todd Graves from the Western District of Missouri to the list.  From reports about the testimony (see L.A. Times story here), the questioning was not nearly as contentious and Gonzales was much more relaxed, perhaps knowing that the pressure was off after having survived the earlier hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  His memory was not much improved, and he add almost nothing to his earlier testimony.  Moving beyond the focus on the U.S. Attorney's, Representative James Sensenbrenner, former chairman of the Judiciary Committee who lost his position when the Democrats took control of the House, asked Gonzales about another corruption investigation, this time inquiring about the status of the inquiry into William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat in whose freezer agents discovered $90,000 in cash.  Asking about a continuing investigation invites a single response, which Gonzales gave -- No comment.  I wonder why he asked? 

Now that the House had its fill of Gonzales, the investigation moves on to others who could be more enlightening, particularly the testimony of Monica Goodling, who the Committee voted to immunize so that she can testify about her role in the firings.  Whether she has much to add to the story remains to be seen, and I suspect the investigation may well wind down unless the Congressional Committees decide to pursue a confrontation with the White House over obtaining testimony from Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. (ph)

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