Yesterday really should be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Here’s the AP:
Documents indicate eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
And the WaPo has more.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy threatened yesterday to request a perjury investigation of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, as Democrats said an intelligence official’s statement about a classified surveillance program was at odds with Gonzales’s sworn testimony. The latest dispute involving public remarks by Gonzales concerned the topic of a March 10, 2004, White House briefing for members of Congress. Gonzales, in congressional testimony Tuesday, said the purpose of the briefing was to address what he called “intelligence activities” that were the subject of a legal dispute inside the administration.
Gonzales testified that the meeting was not called to discuss a dispute over the National Security Agency’s controversial warrantless surveillance program, which he has repeatedly said attracted no serious controversy inside the administration. But a letter sent to Congress in May 2006 by then-Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte described the congressional meeting as a “briefing on the Terrorist Surveillance Program,” the name that President Bush has publicly used to describe the warrantless surveillance program.
Gonzales, in other words, appears to have been caught in a bald-faced lie to Congress, a lie that was no doubt intended to cast doubt on ex-Deputy AG James Comey’s shocking story of Gonzales and Andy Card trying (unsuccessfully) to bamboozle a drugged-up John Ashcroft into reauthorizing the warrantless surveillance program shortly after major surgery. But, unfortunately for Gonzo, the documents show that Comey’s story was accurate. [UPDATE: FBI Director Robert Mueller confirms Comey’s version, and contradicts Gonzales.]
So, Democrats, what say you? The ball is in your court. If you didn’t have enough to impeach Gonzales before, you certainly do now.
If the Democrats allow this kind of contemptuous behavior to go on with no serious response, they have only themselves to blame for what’s to come — and rest assured, there will be more.
Gonzales must be impeached.