TIME Magazine Asks: If The White House Has Nothing to Hide, Why the Attempted Cover Up?

Brian Zick

Massimo Calabresi for Time Magazine writes: If the White House did nothing improper in the controversial firing of eight U.S. Attorneys last year, why would top officials in the Justice Department, perhaps including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, have tried to conceal its role in the dismissals? That question has come into focus as congressional investigators follow the trail of an e-mail sent February 7, 2007 by Gonzales' spokesman Brian Roehrkasse. In the message he told two top Gonzales aides that the Attorney General was "extremely upset" that his deputy, Paul McNulty, had told the Senate Judiciary committee the day before that one of the attorneys, Bud Cummins of Arkansas, had been fired to make room for an aide to Karl Rove. When the Roehrkasse e-mail came to light, he told the press that Gonzales had been upset because he believed that "Bud Cummins' removal involved performance considerations." But on April 15, Congressional sources tell TIME, Gonzales' former chief of staff Kyle Sampson told a different story. During a private interview with Judiciary Committee staffers Sampson said three times in as many minutes that Gonzales was angry with McNulty because he had exposed the White House's involvement in the firings� [sic] had put it's role "in the public sphere," as Sampson phrased it, according to Congressional sources familiar with the interview. via Think Progress

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