In Sen. Pat Leahy's (D-VT) letter to the White House today was a bit of news. A bit of bad news for Alberto Gonzales.
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According to Sen. Leahy, Kyle Sampson has told congressional investigators that when Alberto Gonzales finally nixed the plan to permanently install Karl Rove's former aide as a U.S. attorney without Senate confirmation, Rove's senior aide Sara Taylor was "upset." And according to Sampson's testimony, Gonzales didn't say no until late in the game -- when the U.S. attorney firings controversy was already gaining steam. That's not what Gonzales told Congress.
When Gonzales testified before the Senate last month, he claimed that he'd always rejected the idea of using a Patriot Act provision to appoint handpicked U.S. attorneys and keep them in place indefinitely without Senate confirmation as "interim" U.S. attorneys. In a December 19, 2006 email to the White House, Kyle Sampson had specifically advocated using the provision to install Timothy Griffin, Rove's former aide who was installed as the U.S. attorney for Little Rock, over the objections of the state's two Democratic senators. But Gonzales said that he'd never seen that email and he'd never considered Sampson's plan. "I didn't consider it and wouldn't consider it," Gonzales testified.