Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, of the Washington Post, provide in-depth coverage of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' appearance before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the Oversight of the Department of Justice. (see here) The article contains a link to the transcript of the hearing. The conflict issue (see here)was one point of discussion and the Attorney General appropriately recognized his conflict in matters with the White House. In response to questions by Senator Specter he stated:
"SPECTER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Attorney General Gonzales, does Solicitor General Paul Clement now have the unquestioned authority to appoint a special prosecutor since you and the deputy attorney general are recused?
GONZALES: It would be his decision, yes.
SPECTER: Just to be abundantly clear, so that if a request were made to him to appoint special prosecutor to handle the contempt proceedings arising out of this entire matter, it would be his decision?
SPECTER: His sole decision?
GONZALES: I would not be involved with it; neither would the deputy attorney general."
The hearing covered many different topics and many criticisms of the AG were voiced. But Senator Specter's closing remarks were very telling when he asked the Attorney General to look at the low morale in the department and later stated in noting the OxyContin case (see here), "But it looks to me candidly, Attorney General Gonzales, as if the department's dysfunctional."