Gonzales to appear before Senate

from LATimes

Gonzales’ testimony before the Senate panel is scheduled for April 17 — an event shaping up as his opportunity to explain why the prosecutors were fired and what involvement the White House may have had in their dismissals.

Democrats also want Gonzales to square a number of statements he has made about his own role in the terminations.

He has said that he had only minimal discussions about the firings, but Justice Department documents released in the last few weeks show that he attended an hourlong meeting before giving the go-ahead on which prosecutors to replace.

White House Counselor Dan Bartlett didn’t suggest a specific date for Gonzales’ testimony, but he told ABC’s “This Week”: “Let’s move it up and let’s get to the facts. Let’s have the attorney general there sooner rather than later.”[…]

But Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that he would stick to April 17, which was originally Gonzales’ preferred date, though Leahy’s office “got a call yesterday saying, ‘Could we come earlier?’ ” He said he answered no.

By all means, let’s take the extra week and make this hearing worth the price of the popcorn. Frankly, if Gonzales stays or goes, it is at the pleasure of the President, and, no one doubts that the President is loyal to his AG. Fine.

But, in order to make this a productive hearing, here are a few suggested questions for my elected conservative Senators to bring to the table:

1) Why haven’t you fired Johnny Sutton?

2) Mr. Gonzales, in the last six months, agents along the Southwest border caught 15 people from Iran, 35 from Pakistan, 12 from Jordan, two from Syria and five from Lebanon. Can you understand why so many of your own party are unhappy with the out of control border situation?

3) Mr. Gonzales, who approved of the very lenient plea bargain for Sandy Berger?

4) When will Mr. Berger be required to take the lie detector test that was called for in the plea bargain? Why has it taken so long?

5) Why did your Department not notify the 9/11 Commission about Berger’s activities in a timely manner?

 

If Gonzales is not straightforward with his answers to these very important issues, then let’s have his resignation. And, if he is forthcoming, then the answers should provide some very interesting information. Either way, it’s time to sharpen up the rhetoric and go on Offense.

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