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The Senate Judiciary Committee has confirmed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is now the subject of an investigation concerning his testimony about and dealings with former DOJ employee Monica Goodling, the Washington Post reports.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales sought to influence the testimony of a departing senior aide during a March meeting in Gonzales’s office, according to correspondence released today. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the two officials who are leading an internal Justice Department investigation of the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys last year said their inquiry includes the Gonzales meeting, which was revealed during testimony last month from former Gonzales aide Monica M. Goodling.
“This is to confirm that the scope of our investigation does include this matter,” wrote Glenn A. Fine, the inspector general, and H. Marshall Jarrett, counsel of the Office of Professional Responsibility.
In his Senate testimony, Gonzales denied that he had conferred with witnesses relevant to the investigation in preparing to testify. Monica Goodling then went out of her way to challenge this statement as false. Gonzales later stated that he “never attempted to influence or shape the testimony or public statements of any witness,” including Goodling, and that his comments “were intended only to comfort her in a very difficult period of her life.”
The ability of the DOJ inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility to conduct an independent and objective investigation of the man to whom they report directly is of course subject to question. Gonzales previously acknowledged having directly intervened to stop an internal DOJ investigation looking into improper conduct by DOJ attorneys in connection with surveillance programs initiated without the court authorizations required under FISA, a federal criminal statute.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March:
The Pacific trade winds are weakening as a result of global warming.
In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."