Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Waxman Wants to Hear from Cookie and Buzzy

The contradictory statements of State Department Inspector General Howard "Cookie" Krongard and his brother, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, about Buzzy's joining an advisory board for Blackwater Worldwide will be the subject of an early December hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  The issue will be whether Cookie Krongard committed perjury when he first denied to the Committee knowing about his brother's connection to Blackwater, which is being investigated by the IG's office, and then said his brother told him that there were no financial ties with the company.  Buzzy says he told his brother about the financial arrangements related to the advisory committee and his intention to take the position.  A memorandum (here) from Committee Chairman Henry Waxman states that

discrepancies between the testimony of Howard Krongard and the information from Buzzy Krongard raise questions about the truthfulness of Howard Krongard's testimony.  During the hearing, there were a number of other discrepancies between Howard Krongard's testimony and what the Justice Department and senior officials in the Inspector General's office told the Committee. This is a serious matter given Howard Krongard's position as the Inspector General of the State Department. I expect the Committee to hold a hearing during the week of December 3,2007,to provide members the opportunity to assess whether the Inspector General provided truthful testimony to the Committee.

Like anyone subject to a potential perjury charge, Cookie has retained counsel, who sent a letter (here on TPMmuckraker) to Representative Waxman asking that the hearing be canceled because "there is no legitimate legislative purpose to be gained by publicly pitting two brothers against each other."  The usual Thanksgiving contest to see who wins pulling apart the turkey wishbone may be just a prelude to more discomfort between Cookie and Buzzy. (ph)

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