Alberto Gonzales: 'I Feel Angry That I Had to go Through This'
Well, here's what you get when you allow the crimes of the Bush administration to go unpunished. Alberto Gonzales coming on the T.V. playing the aggrieved victim card. As Jon explained the other day...
On Wednesday, prosecutor Nora Dannehy announced she would bring no charges against Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Monica Goodling or any of the key players behind the purge of 9 U.S. attorneys. That scandal, part of a larger effort to target Democratic politicians and suppress Democratic voter turnout, will go unpunished despite the key roles of Rove and Miers, and the apparent perjury of former Attorney General Gonzales. Read on...
Mary over at EmptyWheel's place has more on the letter sent to John Conyers. Final Jeopardy Answer: Something That Doesn’t Obstruct or Impede Justice:
The investigation (not of the U. S. Attorney firings despite misleading headlines) into the Iglesias firing is done. bmaz is ready to change his name to Carnac and Holder’s Department of Justice has shot off a letter-ary masterpiece to the House Judiciary Committee (HJC). As per
Carnac’sbmaz’s predictions, no charges.
What bmaz could not have predicted, but did link to in his post, is the actual content of the letter sent to Conyers. I don’t think anyone would have predicted the cavalier way in which Holder’s DOJ reaches its seemingly predetermined decision, while providing a roadmap to other legislators who’d also like to get a prosecutor fired for political convenience. Dannehy and Holder explain to Members of Congress – if a Federal prosecutor isn’t filing or refraining from filing the cases you want, feel free to covertly conspire to get him fired. As long as you don’t make any misguided attempt to “influence” him before you get him fired, you’re good to go. Oh, and btw, phone calls to him at home to fume over his handling – not to worry, those doesn’t count as an attempt to influence.
Stripped and shorn, Holder and Dannehy have said –
1. We aren’t gonna investigate anything but Iglesias and we aren’t saying why: “The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias.”
WHAT EVIDENCE? They freakin didn’t expand the scope of the investigation to see what evidence there was, then they decide, oh well, we don’t have any of the evidence we didn’t look for so we shouldn’t look for it since we don’t have it … whatever.
2. Hey, yeah, Domenici DID make a contact to smack on Iglesias about the handling of a matter currently in front of the USA’s office but: “The evidence about the call developed in the course of Ms. Dannehy’s investigation, however, was insufficient to establish an attempt to pressure Mr. Iglesias to accelerate his charging decisions.”
So similar to the lack of intent to torture – I mean, if Domenici in good faith thought he was just gathering intel on the status of political prosecutions … um, let’s move on.
Our own Jon Perr has more at Perrspectives Alberto Gonzales Plays the Victim. Again.:
For generations of political junkies yet unborn, Alberto Gonzales will be forever remembered as the man who declared "I do not recall" 55 times during a single day of Congressional testimony. But to his legacy of blessing detainee torture, authorizing the illegal domestic surveillance of Americans, presiding over a political purge of U.S. prosecutors, making a bedside visit to strong-arm his gravely ill predecessor and repeatedly lying to Congress, the former Bush Attorney General had added a new title: victim.
Gonzales' latest playing of the victim card came in the wake of the news that Bush holdover prosecutor Nora Dannehy would not bring charges in the U.S. attorneys scandal. After the release this week of the six-page letter Harper's Scott Horton deemed, "another audacious whitewash at DOJ," Gonzales' lawyer George Terwilliger said his critics "owe him an apology." Read on...
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
KING: If you follow politics, you'll most likely remember the dust-up over the Bush administration's decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys. Those firings led to an investigation. And then, an important decision that didn't get that all much attention this week, the Justice Department announced that no charges would be filed against the former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other Bush administrations involved in the episode.
The former attorney general is with us exclusively to go "One-on- One."
Judge Gonzales, good to see you.
I want to read to you a bit from "The Wall Street Journal" editorial this morning about this case.
It said, quote, "After their dismissal in 2006, Democrats pounced on the Bush administration for politicizing justice, and Mr. Gonzales became their favorite pinata. Democrats alleged that Karl Rove, then the deputy White House chief of staff, meddled in those decisions. He was also exonerated this week."
This is the first interview you've given about this. Just first and foremost, how do you feel?
ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: I feel good, John. I feel angry that I had to go through this, that my family had to suffer through this. And what for? It was for nothing.
I'm glad the investigation is over. And I'm glad the American people are reassured that nothing wrong happened during my tenure as attorney general in connection with the removals of these U.S. attorneys. KING: You say you feel angry. I get that. And the letter though, I do want to hold it up, it says they found insufficient evidence. It doesn't say clearly that nothing happened. It does say that they believe that you were overly political in these firings and it does say --
KING: -- that the inspector general found you gave inaccurate and misleading statements but they said there was insufficient evidence there was any criminal activity. It does say that they believe, in this letter, that you were too political and not up to the standards of the DOJ. Do you dispute that?
GONZALES: Well, let me clarify for your audience here, what exactly she said. First of all, her statements about whether or not there was undue politics involved in the decision to remove a U.S. attorney, only related to David Iglesias. If you look carefully at that letter, her review was limited to the removal of David Iglesias.
KING: That's correct.
GONZALES: That's where the most serious questions existed. So, I think it is very, very important for people to understand that.
KING: I want to read you one sentence from it because I want to hear your direct response to it. Here is the -- in the final letter to Congress, "While the actions of DOJ leadership" -- which is you, sir -- "were contrary to DOJ principles, they were not intended and did not influence or in any way impede voter fraud prosecutions or a particular public corruption case." That is particularly in the case of Mr. Iglesias.
I just want you to refer and respond to the idea that the actions of DOJ leadership were contrary to DOJ principles. In other words, they think you were too political.
GONZALES: Well, again, this is an opinion by a career prosecutor about the removal of one single individual, not nine, not seven, but one. And I would just say this: the job of a prosecutor is to determine whether or not a crime has been committed. That is the job of the prosecutor.
And her judgment in this case and I respect her work, her judgment as to the political correctness of a decision by the attorney general or by the president of the United States, quite frankly, is inappropriate and unwarranted in this particular case. What is really important that you cited to in the letter is that there is no evidence that the removal of Iglesias or the removal of the other U.S. attorneys that any case was improperly influenced.
KING: Your friend, the former president, is working on his memoir and we're all waiting for it this coming fall. Have you helped him on the book at all? When was the last time you talked to President Bush?
GONZALES: I actually spoke to him just a few days ago. He called me the afternoon that the report regarding the ending the situations came out and he called to congratulate me. We talked about the fact that he was playing more golf and that he was thankful that he wasn't in Washington having to deal with all of these kinds of issues. I think he is doing well. You know, I think like all of us we look back with great pride in our service to our country. We're also delighted to be back home and to living life a little more normally.
KING: The former attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, sir, appreciate your time today.
GONZALES: Thank you, John.