Friday, March 30, 2007

Sampson Testifies

NYT - Ex-Aide Rejects Gonzales Stand Over Dismissals
The former chief of staff to Alberto R. Gonzales testified on Thursday that he had consulted regularly with the attorney general about dismissing United States attorneys, disputing Mr. Gonzales’s public account of his role as very limited.

The former aide, D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned two weeks ago, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mr. Gonzales’s statements about the prosecutors’ dismissals were inaccurate and that the attorney general had been repeatedly advised of the planning for them.
I'm sure that is true. It hard to believe otherwise really. I'm still convinced that Sampson is not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, however. Take for example the inconsistency between this statement:
Mr. Sampson also acknowledged publicly for the first time that he proposed replacing Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States attorney in Chicago, at a White House meeting in 2006. Mr. Fitzgerald was then prosecuting the case involving the leak of the identity of Valerie Wilson, the C.I.A. officer. That led to the conviction this month of I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, on perjury charges.

“I said Patrick Fitzgerald could be added to this list,” Mr. Sampson said, recalling a conversation with Ms. Miers and an aide. The suggestion, which he said he regretted, was immediately dropped. “They looked at me like I had said something totally inappropriate, and I had,” Mr. Sampson said.
And this statement:
None of the dismissals were intended to interfere with political corruption investigations, he said. “During this process, I never associated asking the U.S. attorneys to resign with any investigation,” Mr. Sampson said.
So he admits that he suggested Fitzgerald be added to the list but we are supposed to believe it had nothing to do with the Libby trial. Yeah, right.

As an Alabamian I'm glad to see this:
Many of the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, including Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, made it clear that like the Democrats they remained extremely disappointed with the way the dismissals had been handled and explained.

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