FBI Director Confirms That Gonzales Is a Liar

This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

When it comes to Alberto Gonzales' precarious future, it's important to remember that we're not just dealing with one lie, we're dealing with several. He lied about DoJ divisions over domestic surveillance. He lied about coaching witnesses before congressional testimony. He lied about violations of the Patriot Act.

In each instance, he lied in sworn testimony, in public, before congressional committees, which is exactly why several lawmakers are now asking that he be investigated for perjury.

But just when it seemed things couldn't get worse for Gonzales, the evidence against him gets a little worse.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Thursday that the confrontation in 2004 between then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in Ashcroft's hospital room was over the controversial warrantless surveillance program -- in apparent contradiction of Gonzales' Senate testimony on Tuesday.
Mueller said he spoke with Ashcroft shortly after Gonzales left the hospital, and he was told the meeting dealt with "an NSA (National Security Agency) program that has been much discussed, yes."
Mueller made the comment as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee.
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Gonzales insisted he had visited the ailing Ashcroft in the hospital to discuss "other intelligence activities," not the surveillance program.
That, of course, wasn't ... what's the word ... true.

Indeed, Mueller's testimony was a sharp rebuke of the line Gonzales has taken for quite some time. While the AG argued that there were no Justice Department reservations about warrantless domestic searches, the FBI director testified today that the agency was deeply divided.
Mueller also testified Thursday that he had serious reservations about the warrantless surveillance program at the time of the dramatic internal administration showdown and threats of top-level resignations.
Mueller did not confirm he had threatened to resign, but he twice said he supports the testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who had testified that Gonzales and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried to pressure Ashcroft to reauthorize a surveillance program against terror suspects.
Mueller for the first time publicly confirmed he did dispatch -- as Comey had testified -- an FBI security detail to the hospital room to ensure that Comey was not removed from the room when Gonzales was there.
It's worth remembering that, as a matter of governmental hierarchy, Gonzales is Mueller's boss. But as of now, that doesn't seem to matter much.

How many more of these revelations will it take before the White House has seen enough? How much more will craven congressional Republicans tolerate?
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