Senators Press AG Gonzales on NSA Spying Testimony
In light of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's testimony before the Senate yesterday, four senators pressed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for more answers about the NSA spying program:
"Specifically, Mr. Comey testified that you and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card went to Mr. Ashcroft's bedside at George Washington Hospital, where he was in intensive care, in an effort to get him to agree to certify the legality of a classified program that he and Mr. Comey, who was serving as acting Attorney General at the time, had concluded should not be so certified. Mr. Comey stated that when the Administration decided to go forward with reauthorizing this classified program without that certification, he and several other Justice Department officials, including possibly Attorney General Ashcroft himself, were ready to tender their resignations.
"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?"