Dear Alberto, Did You Lie to Us?

Brian Zick

Think Progress reports: Today, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Richard Durbin (D-IL) sent Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a letter regarding former Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s testimony yesterday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.In the letter obtained by ThinkProgress, the senators ask Gonzales if he stands by his 2006 testimony that Comey and other Department of Justice officials did not have concerns about the NSA wiretapping program, which would be in contradiction to Comey’s testimony yesterday. From the letter: You testified last year before both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee about this incident. On February 6, 2006, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, you were asked whether Mr. Comey and others at the Justice Department had raised concerns about the NSA wiretapping program. You stated in response that the disagreement that occurred was not related to the wiretapping program confirmed by the President in December 2005, which was the topic of the hearing. …We ask for your prompt response to the following question: In light of Mr. Comey’s testimony yesterday, do you stand by your 2006 Senate and House testimony, or do you wish to revise it? In a separate post, Peter Swire at Think Progress says "Comey’s Revelations Suggest Either Gonzales Is Lying Or More Spying Programs Exist" 1) Comey’s objections apply to the NSA warrantless wiretapping program that Gonzales was discussing. If so, then Gonzales quite likely made serious mis-statements under oath. And Gonzales was deeply and personally involved in the meeting at Ashcroft’s hospital bed, so he won’t be able to claim “I forgot.”2) Perhaps Comey’s objections applied to a different domestic spying program. That has a big advantage for Gonzales — he wasn’t lying under oath. But then we would have senior Justice officials confirming that other “programs” exist for domestic spying, something the Administration has never previously stated.

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