Why Mueller’s Notes Matter

Following up on news from late yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller agreed to share (redacted) notes he took about the now-infamous hospital visit with John Ashcroft in 2004 with the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Conyers emphasized revelations about the White House seeking Ashcroft’s authorization for Bush’s warrantless surveillance program.

But let’s not overlook that Mueller’s notes have also caught Alberto Gonzales in yet another demonstrable lie.

Then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft was “feeble,” “barely articulate” and “stressed” moments after a hospital room confrontation in March 2004 with Alberto R. Gonzales, who wanted Ashcroft to approve a warrantless wiretapping program over Justice Department objections, according to notes from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III that were released yesterday. [...]

Mueller’s description of Ashcroft’s physical condition that night contrasts with testimony last month from Gonzales, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ashcroft was “lucid” and “did most of the talking” during the brief visit.

Got that? Gonzales publicly testified (remember, lying to Congress is a crime) that Ashcroft was cogent and communicating what Gonzales and Card when to his hospital room to take advantage of him. James Comey has already testified under oath that Gonzales was lying, and now FBI Director Mueller is confirming Comey’s account.

I’ve long since given up keeping track of all the times Gonzales has been caught lying, so I no longer hold any hope that the mendacity will reach a critical mass that will force the AG’s departure. But I am curious how Gonzales’ backers can continue to rationalize obvious falsehoods.

Anonymous Liberal digs even deeper with a terrific post.


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