Tuesday :: Jul 26, 2005

Gonzales and Ashcroft Had Time To Sanitize Plame Evidence

by Steve

In reviewing the recent posts here, Iíve noticed that several stories have been overlooked, so allow me to get us up to date on some of these over the coming hours.

First, the media finally caught up to the fact that thanks to Alberto Gonzales, the White House staff had anywhere from a 12-hour to four-day lead-time to destroy documents before White House staff was told to preserve all documentation related to the Plame matter. Gonzales himself admitted on Face the Nation Sunday in an unsteady performance that he received word of the incoming Department of Justice inquiry late one night at about 8:00 PM. But the only person Gonzales told about this was Andy Card, and he didnít tell anyone else formally to preserve documents until the next morning. At the time, Gonzales was White House Counsel, and we are talking about the same Andy Card who himself read the State Department memo containing secret information about Plameís identity. So at the very least Andy Card had all night to clean his files. And who told Gonzales it was OK to wait until morning to formally tell the staff to preserve evidence and not shred documents? The same Attorney General who was a close political friend of Karl Rove for years, who at that time still had control of the case himself before he recused himself on New Yearís Eve months after both he and Gonzales had direct control of whatever evidence made its way to a special counsel.

One could easily conclude from all this that Gonzales and Ashcroft took every opportunity to make sure that all damaging evidence was made to disappear before it formally went to the Department of Justice, and before Ashcroft then did the fig leaf of turning the case over to an independent prosecutor. One could conclude that the cover-up was further abetted when Gonzales himself assumed the reigns of DOJ and brought along with him several staff from the White House with direct knowledge of those documents and what evidence was made to disappear. Yet Patrick Fitzgerald still has been able to construct enough of a case to get this far, and present enough of a shock to a solidly far right judge on national security grounds that eight pages of the appeals court ruling outlining the reason why the judges gave him authority to proceed were redacted from the public ruling. The fact that the GOP chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Pat Roberts now wants to insert himself into the case by tainting and damaging the investigation through an attempt at intimidating Fitzgerald tells you that the GOP is worried now about how far Fitzgerald will go with this.

Steve :: 8:56 AM :: Comments (59) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!