the washington post is reporting
this afternoon that the attorney
general’s senior counselor has
informed sen. patrick leahy’s staff
that she will refuse to answer any
questions at the hearing of the
senate judiciary committee, scheduled
for this thursday.
quoth the. . .
“. . .The senior counselor to Attorney
General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse
to testify before the Senate Judiciary
Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys
scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment
right against self-incrimination, her
attorneys said today.
Monica M. Goodling — who is on an
indefinite leave of absence from Gonzales’s
office — also alleges in a sworn declar-
ation that a “senior Department of Justice
official” has admitted he was “not entirely
candid” in his Senate testimony and has
blamed Goodling and others for not
fully briefing him. . .”
in stark contrast, d. kyle sampson, the AG’s former chief of staff, has indicated that he will speak, under oath, to the committee about various matters related to purge-gate. . .
we now know that mr. sampson will likely say, under oath,
that he did not mislead mr. gonzales.
tantalizingly, he may say quite a bit more.
we also now know that the other putative “fall-
person” for mr. gonzales, ms. goodling, will not go
quietly. her invocation of the fifth may possibly
be the precursor to an agreement under which she
will ultimately testify, in return for immunity.
it is an unusual sign — and not an encourag-
ing one — for the target, at least, when
one of the target’s lawyers — his senior
lawyer, in this case — decides to invoke
a fifth amendment privilege against self-
i write this because it suggests, to me, that
the target, here mr. gonzales, is going to have
quite a bit of difficulty asserting that he
simply followed, in good faith, legal advice he
sought, and received, from his staff, related
to the dismissal of the eight u.s. attorneys.
we already know that various public documents
contradict mr. gonzales’ earlier claim that he “wasn’t
very involved” in the decision to ask for
the resignations of these eight u.s. attorneys.
all of this is shaping up rather badly for mr.
gonzales — but is quite predictably — almost
uncannily — providing much “noisy cover” and
a precious time-delay, for messrs. rove and cheney.
here endeth this lesson in rovian stall-politics.