Gonzo: Follow the Bread Crumbs

11 May 2007 |permalink | email article

House testimony yesterday by Alberto Gonzales on the U.S. attorney firings did nothing to clear up the scandal, as the attorney general’s remarks were virtually the same as he delivered last month in the Senate.

Gonzales has finally got his stonewalling act down cold. Repeating his apology for the way the firings were handled, he again asserted that “nothing improper” occurred during the dismissals. His bedtime may be delayed.

Despite a lack of interest by Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee in asking tough questions, unlike their Senate colleague, one exchange between committee chairman John Conyers and Gonzales was revealing about the forced resignation of David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney for New Mexico.

Conyers: Do you have information on whether Karl Rove or any other White House staff member helped get Mr. Iglesias on the termination list. Either through Ms. [Monica] Goodling, who was liaison to the White House, or anyone else…?

Gonzales: I have no personal knowledge, Mr. Chairman. I don’t recall now, thinking back, whether here’s anything in the documents…

Conyers: We have already learned that Karl Rove has been contacted by prominent New Mexico Republicans to try to remove Mr. Iglesias as the U.S. attorney because of concerns about voter fraud in New Mexico in the fall. Is that right?

Gonzales: That is my recollection – not just New Mexico, but also, as I recall Philadelphia as well…

Conyers: …All right. And Mr. Iglesias appears on the termination list in October or November…Well now, if we start following these bread crumbs, it suggests that there could have been some connection between these discussions between yourself and Mr. Rove and Mr. Iglesias hitting the doors, as an ex-employee.

Gonzales: Mr. Chairman, you have more bread crumbs than I do, quite frankly, because you’ve had the opportunity to speak directly to other fact witnesses at the Department of Justice. I was not surprised to see Mr. Iglesias recommend to me, based on previous conversations I’d had with Senator [Pete] Domenici.

Conyers: Well, you may have yet more bread crumbs than, sir, because you were the one that talked to Karl Rove. That’s a pretty big bread crumb.

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