Gonzales Backpedals on Lam Testimony

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) returned to the question of the hour, which is how Alberto Gonzales could sign off on the firings not knowing the reason that the U.S. attorneys were being fired and who specifically had made the decision to add each one to the list. “It would seem to me you’d want to know,” Feinstein said.

Gonzales reprised earlier answers, that he’d relied on the judgment of senior leadership in the department, particularly the deputy attorney general. Feinstein countered by saying that when most people hear “senior leadership,” they think of men with “grey hair,” but that in Gonzales’ department these were young, often “very ideological” people.

Gonzales suddenly swerved back to his earlier remarks about Carol Lam, and backpedalled. “I believe based on my review of the documents,” he said “that there was an interest in her performance. I don’t know if Ms. Lam knew that the Justice Department had those specific concerns.”

“I expected that my concerns… would be communicated to Ms. Lam,” he said. But, of course, they weren’t. Gonzales didn’t indicate if he ever actually told anyone to talk to her.