Gonzo, Gonzo, Gonzo

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Murray Waas has a new report out on one particular aspect of the DOJ Inspector General’s investigation into former Attorney General and former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales:

In reauthorizing the [warrantless] surveillance program over the objections of his own Justice Department, President Bush later claimed to have relied on notes made by Gonzales about a meeting that had taken place the day before (March 10), in which Gonzales and Vice President Cheney had met with eight congressional leaders–also known as the “Gang of Eight”–who receive briefings about covert intelligence programs. According to Gonzales’s notes, the congressional leaders had said in the meeting that they wanted the surveillance program to continue despite the attorney general’s refusal to certify that it was legal.

But four of the congressional leaders present at the meeting say that’s not true; they never encouraged the White House to sidestep the objections of the attorney general and continue the program without his approval.

Investigators are skeptical of the notes because Gonzales did not write them until days after the meeting with the congressional leaders, and he wrote them after both Bush and Gonzales had together signed a reauthorization of the surveillance program.

Late Update: Waas also reports, in a second piece, that Gonzo has admitted to investigators that President Bush directed him to go to the then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital bedside in that dramatic late night showdown over the warrantless wiretapping program. Gonzales has previously refused to answer congressional questions on that point in this testimonial trainwreck from July 2007:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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