Goldsmith's testimony will be interesting on its own merits: a stalwart conservative and current Harvard Law professor, it was largely Goldsmith's legal analysis that convinced Comey the warrantless surveillance program was illegal. But it'll also have political implications, Isikoff explains, now that Gonzales is on his way out and President Bush is shopping around for a new attorney general. Democrats may tether the approval of Bush's forthcoming nominee to a Watergate-style agreement for the creation of a special prosecutor to investigate Gonzales-related scandals about the U.S. attorney firings and the surveillance program. As Isikoff writes, with a fresh account on the record about widespread wrongdoing at the Justice Department, Goldsmith will provide the Democrats with "fresh ammunition in their campaign for a special prosecutor."
Goldsmith's first public disclosures about the surveillance program aren't going to be his last. On September 17, he'll publish his exposÃ©, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Presidency. It's a fitting date: September 17 is Gonzales' last day in office.