Gonzales: The Lawyer Who Lied to the Judge

The Washington Post's Dan Eggen this morning reports that in November 2005 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales apparently misled a federal judge in Montana about the status of William W. Mercer, the U.S. Attorney for the state. The nation's top lawyer and chief law enforcement official reportedly told the judge that Mercer was not breaking the law by spending his time working in Washington (for the Justice Department) and not Montana (for the people of his state). But this evidently was not true. Because on the same day, Eggen reports, "Mercer had a GOP Senate staffer insert into a bill a provision that would change the rules so that federal prosecutors could live outside their districts to serve in other jobs, according to documents and interviews."

Eggen writes: ".... [T]he episode, which received little notice at the time, provides another example in which Gonzales's statements appear to conflict with simultaneous actions by his aides in connection with U.S. attorney policies.... The measure also provides the second example in which the Justice Department sought to use the renewal of the Patriot Act antiterrorism law to assert tighter control over U.S. attorneys. Another provision sought by the Justice Department allowed Gonzales to appoint U.S. attorneys indefinitely without Senate input. Since repealed, it was central to the uproar over the prosecutor dismissals."

The piece is devastating and further proof to anyone who is following this story that so long as Gonzales remains in office there will be these sorts of drip-drop embarrassments. Just think about it. In this latest case, the Attorney General was unwilling or unable to accomplish one of the most basic tasks and responsibilities of being a lawyer-- telling the judge the truth. What a terrible example to set. And what a terrible standard he sets every day he remains in office.

But can and will Gonzales survive anyway because the alternative for the White House is worse? At least one thoughtful observer thinks so. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Elizabeth Holtzman, a former New York Congresswoman who was on the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal, argues that the White House will not throw Gonzales overboard despite the many reasons for doing so because the Bush administration cannot afford to have a confirmation hearing for his successor. Why? Because such a hearing might provide Senate Democrats with the opportunity, the procedure, for demanding more information from the White House and Justice Department about the U.S. Attorney scandal. It's hard to argue with her logic-- although in the end it's impossible to accept her premise. This Attorney General is unworthy of his job(and if you don't believe me, read this). He needs to go. Surely the consequences of his departure, whatever they may be, cannot in the end be worse than what we are forced to endure now.

By Andrew Cohen |  May 2, 2007; 7:10 AM ET agag
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I suspect that Ms. Holtzman is right on target and the Mr. Cohen is engaging in wishful thinking. Firing Gonzales or permitting him to resign would open up a Pandora's box for Bush, just what he doesn't need as his administration sinks ever deeper into the 'slough of despond.' I'm a bit surprised that more attention is not being paid to the record of one of the US attorneys who was on the first 'hit list' and then removed. Steve Biskupic, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (an electorally important swing state) pers/prosecuted a state employee for 'steering' a travel contract to a political supporter of the Democratic governor. She served 4 months in a federal prison before she was released a few weeks ago by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, which noted that the evidence against her was 'less than thin.' It is an extraordinary and frightening case and a huge embarassment to the Department of Justice. Not coincidentally, Biskupic's office also prosecuted 14 so-called "voter fraud" cases, all residents of Milwaukee and all but one against African Americans. They were mainly cases of felons voting. Only five of the cases resulted in convictions, an extraordinarily low conviction rate for federal prosecutions. Biskupic was, not surprisingly, the darling of Milwaukee's local right-wing talk radio hosts who had been ranting about 'rampant voter fraud' for months. Biskupic's name was eventually removed from the 'hit list' though the ever-forgetful Mr. Gonzales remembers nothing of why Biskupic was initially on the list or why it was removed. The Biskupic record is what this scandal is really all about, i.e., the actions of those who were NOT fired and why they weren't fired. There's no way Bush and Rove can permit the public to peer into that bucket of worms.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | May 2, 2007 09:53 AM

Keeping Gonzales is probably more politically expedient, so Holtzman and P. Bosley Slogthrop (what a monicker, pal) are probably right, but if so, it's just another example of putting political expediency ahead of what's right for Justice and the country.

The Seventh Circuit's decision in the Thompson prosecution by Steve Biskupic is casting a long shadow. Yesterday in the Seventh Circuit, attorneys for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's convicted patronage chief, Robert Sorich, seized on the Thompson case to argue for the reversal of Sorich's conviction. The two cases are of course very different. The Sorich case involves a continuing pattern of falsifying job application files and placement test results in order to deprive the public of Sorich's honest services and to allow the widespread hiring of political footsoldiers.

The "honest services" theory is well-established, but Biskupic's thin and poorly conceived prosecution in the Thompson case, and the resultant slapping his office received from the Seventh Circuit, have allowed Sorich and his co-defendants to argue that without evidence of substantial kickbacks, there can be no fraud case against them under Thompson. I suspect the Seventh Circuit ultimately will see the distinction between the two cases, namely the far greater evidence of fraud in the Sorich case, but Fitzgerald's Chicago prosecutors could very much do without the Thompson decision. Moreover, the Thompson case is an illustration of what can happen when we put bumbling political hacks in these Justice or U.S. Attorney jobs, either from the left or the right.

Thank you to P. Bosley Sloghtrop (I do love that name) for calling attention to the Thompson debacle, but I doubt it will receive much public attention outside of this blog.

Posted by: ExAUSA | May 2, 2007 10:33 AM

Bush even had him on the Texas Supreme Court. Its sad when you cant trust the Justice Department. Gonzo must go.

Posted by: Skeptic | May 2, 2007 11:00 AM

What the Bush Crime Family's approach boils down to is this: "You can't MAKE me!"

The Attorney General is a lying sack of spit? New scandals every week? An embarrassment to any concept of law outside the Mafia's definition of the word? But him resign? YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! You don't have the votes for impeachment...

The occupation of the Babylon Oil Colony a disaster? A hundred U.S. soldiers and 10,000 Iraqis dying every month? Spent half a trillion dollars so far on a losing cause that only creates more terrorists? Democrats have a plan to start easing out of it? YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! You don't have the votes to override my veto, so give me the money and shut the hell up?

A puppet "president" and a regent in the shadows corrupting every function of government, acting like kings, and incompetent ones to boot? People who should resign in shame, except they don't have any? YOU CAN'T MAKE US! You can't even stop a filibuster if you had enough courage to act on Kuchinch's articles of impeachment.

The U.S. is like a car with a crazy drunk at the wheel, mashing the gas pedal as it heads toward the cliff. Stop it? YOU CAN'T MAKE HIM! I'm so glad I jumped out of the car and emigrated...

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | May 2, 2007 11:05 AM

Why this guy, Gonzales, is still in his job is more proof of have far this country has fallen. What ever happened to America, home of the brave? Gonzales is a schmuck.
Have a nice day, everyone!

Posted by: Eric | May 2, 2007 11:06 AM

I've spent the last 7 years working myself up over the criminal incompetence of this administration. Bush's actions are destroying this country.
Yet, at this point, I am just tired. I have Bush fatigue. I just want him to go away, and to take Gonzales, Cheney and Rove with him. We have 19 or so months left of this nightmare--time that will allow more and more Americans to realize how badly they've been served. Let Gonzales stay in office--he'll just serve as the poster boy for this disaster

Posted by: craig thomas | May 2, 2007 11:37 AM

RE: you cant make me...one suggestion for the democrats on war spending. Stop the funding for Blackhawk USA, Haliburtion and KBR...we will be out of Iraq real soon. Its all about money for those companies not patriotism.

Posted by: Skeptic | May 2, 2007 11:47 AM

The problem with just letting them finish their terms is that the next administration isn't likely to voluntarily cede the power grabbed (in violation of the Consitution) by this bunch. We need the representatives of the People to seize these ill-gotten powers back in the name of the People. If they don't, we are well on our way to despotism.

Posted by: Nellie | May 2, 2007 11:55 AM

Ronald Goldfarb claims that if one deplores -as any Patriot should- the values and priorities of the John Ashcroft and Gonzales administrations at the Department of Faith-based Justice, USA Patriot Act excesses, domestic NSA abuse, assassinations and the like, the recourse will be at the 2008 voting machines. That is absurd because these abuses are intended to circumvent elections. Their methods are now far more advanced than during the Mel Carnahan election. Or as Bush would succinctly put it, you are weak and he is Strong. The entire politicized law enforcement system is now a charade and the proposed remedies are placebos.

Posted by: Fixed System | May 2, 2007 12:00 PM

The Bush Administration has until 2009 to muck and mire our government, but it will take us several administrations well after that, assuming those elected care about the proper functioning of the central government to clean it up. There is a simple solution to the Gonzeles mess; everyone should treat him as if he wears the Scarlett Letter. Refuse to see him, work around him, pretend he's not there, and move on to the second in charge. In Bush's case, if it weren't Cheney, that might work pretty well too. Bush has actually made the case for not even having an Executive Branch. He is a tyrant, in the interests of the ultrapowerful and the few MNCs that can run rampant over the rest of us.
These people are awful caretakers of our government, and I look forward to the history books sharing this information with our future generations about how NOT to act as an American.

Posted by: Suzanne | May 2, 2007 12:11 PM

Abu Gonzalez is subject to discipline by the court in Montana for making statements intended to mislead the judge. While he is not likely to disbarred over the offense, it speaks to the heart of his qualifications to practice law and serve as the top law enforcement officer. Look at the allegation: the AG, in the course of his duties, lied to a federal judge about the conduct of one of his subordinates in furtherance of scheme hide a potential violation of the law. Events beyond the political realm may compel Abu to be removed from his post.

Posted by: sy | May 2, 2007 12:17 PM

Oh, we are so screwed as a nation.

As a boomer, I grew up believing that Justice is real, our government means only the best for us, and we only go to war against the bad guys. My textbooks told the truth; they weren't chosen for their religious or political content, and the president wasn't in the job for the money. The Supreme Court would dispense true justice in the spirit of the framers, and our system of checks and balances would prevent a takeover of the country by one group or party of miserable, thieving scoundrels.

This is what I call a painful, rude awakening.

Posted by: Michael Safdiah | May 2, 2007 12:40 PM

I don't agree with Holtzman. Confirmation hearings for a new Attorney General could be embarrassing for the administration, but wouldn't be any more so than what is happening now. Moreover there would be a lot of Senators, including some Democrats, who would be disposed to give anyone not named Gonzales the benefit of the doubt, especially if he had something approaching distinction in his legal background.

And there is something else. Go back and read the transcript of Gonzales' confirmation hearings. The questions he got were not particularly searching, and were certainly not hostile; most Senators on the Judiciary Committee began their statements with testimony to how inspiring Gonzales' personal history was. If the President were able to send up the name of a minority or woman nominee, the brutal grilling some people are imagining would fizzle pretty quickly.

If Gonzales' incompetence were disqualifying from President Bush's point of view he would not even have been named White House Counsel back in 2001. It isn't some political calculation that is keeping him in office now.

Posted by: Zathras | May 2, 2007 12:50 PM

Gonzales is competent to keep the lid on the embedded scandals at Justice, and that is what Bush wants him on the job for. Any other considerations are beside the point, and after all, no one can MAKE Bush fire Gonzales, now can they?

Posted by: J Yoo | May 2, 2007 01:15 PM

What are the options for the judge who was lied to? I know judges and they do not like to be lied to.

Posted by: Fate | May 2, 2007 01:23 PM

"What are the options for lying to a judge?" According the Bush administration, none, especially if you are willing to apologize for the lie, unbelievable!

Posted by: John Lohse | May 2, 2007 01:38 PM

I'm not si sure. The Courts are a seperate branch of government. So we now have Gonzo lying to Congress and now to the courts. I really don't think this is permissable. Somewhere its looking to me like Gonzo broke a law.

Posted by: Fate | May 2, 2007 01:49 PM

When has this administration ever told the truth? I don't think they would know what the truth was if it hit them between the eyes.

Posted by: Larry | May 2, 2007 01:52 PM

I think the judge at least has ability to read a statement from the bench, which is not like you or me writing a letter to the editor.
I think that Bush is stuck stonewalling it with Gonzales on board. Appointing a new AG, he'd have two unpleasant prospects: 1) appoint someone like Patrick Fitzgerald, who'd cruise right through the Senate, but then what? You'd have an honest guy for your AG, which doesn't appear to be what BushCo wants. 2) Appoint a safe crony in the Ashcroft/Gonzales mode. Then he goes up to Capitol Hill, is sworn in by Leahy and Schumer, and the fireworks begin.

Posted by: seo | May 2, 2007 02:07 PM

Don't expect consequences for Gonzales anytime soon. If the judge believed Gonzales deliberately lied to him, as opposed to just getting it wrong, the judge could refer Gonzales to the appropriate state bar or disciplinary authority, most of which have enacted a form of the model ethics rule requiring "candor to the tribunal." The problem is that it can be very difficult to prove that someone actually deliberately lied. So the judge would not make the referral unless he were convinced that it was a lie, and only then disciplinary authorities would conduct an investigation to prove the lie, and maybe then the staff might recommend to the governing body or commission that discipline is appropriate, and maybe then the governing body might impose discipline, and maybe then it might amount to more than a slap on the wrist. So I don't see a heap of trouble for the AG on this one.

Posted by: ExAUSA | May 2, 2007 02:15 PM

I have been following this debacle closely for months, and I would certainly like to see Gonzales go. However, I believe the WH will fight it as long as possible, to provide a smoke screen, preventing further delving into the likes of Rove. As long as they can keep the heat on Gonzales, the Senate is prevented or at least handicapped from delving deeper.

Posted by: Cheri Cabot | May 2, 2007 02:25 PM

This slug partisan hack is incapable of telling the truth, which apparently is the only qualification needed to get a job in this criminals administration.

Posted by: JL | May 2, 2007 02:31 PM

Do not forget that one official said that they were an Empire now and would be taking decisive action while we set up our comittees and studied whether what they did was right or wrong and they would be on to the next thing already.I think we are seeing the results of that in action.As the legal scholar that was on Olbermanns show last night said they have made our Justice system look like the Soviet style system of the party first over Country.And I am a lifelong Republican whose Father served 30 years in the Army and was taught that the truth matters.

Posted by: cardeity48 | May 2, 2007 02:33 PM

Who are serving as interim US attorneys for the 8 who were replaced?
I recall that that someone (Kyle Sampson?) commented that they would replace the US attorneys with interims and leave them there until 2009?
Is that what is actually happening?

Posted by: Mouse | May 2, 2007 02:38 PM

There is no reason for the Bush administration to budge on any of its postures. They know issues usually dissipate. As Bush may well get what he wants regarding the war funding bill, he will get to keep Gonzales. The president is the decider who makes the tough choices for the welfare of the nation. Bush will not blink on the Gonzales matter. I doubt anyone can force him. It is a sad state of affairs.

Posted by: Staggo Lee | May 2, 2007 03:19 PM

Alfredo should go, but his sins were of omission, not commission. Karl Rove decided to appoint his chief of staff as U.S.A. for the eastern district of Ark. The appointee is a legal lightweight, Repub hatchetman, Rove's boy, and was not confirmable in the Senate. So, Rove had Bill Moschella of Justice prepare the "interim appointments" provision and arranged with Sen. Jeff Sessions' office to sneak it into the House/Senate conference on renewal of the Patriot Act. Then Rove had Sampson whack some more USAs as cover while his boy got Arkansas. It worked, but it had to have Bush's approval and instruction to Gonzales to stay out of the way. So Rove worked thru Monica Goodling to manipulate the Justice Dept and Alfredo was out of the loop.

Posted by: Andy Marrin | May 2, 2007 03:24 PM

The Bush family name is mud ever since George became president. Bush, the mediocre, has made sure he got his revenge by appointing only mediocre people who are so indebted to him that they will cover up and commit crime for George. America will survive the deceit and deviousness of Bush, Rove Cheney etal. There is no statute of limitation for going after Bush's corruption after he has left office.

Posted by: M. Stratas | May 2, 2007 03:24 PM

Everywhere you look, under every rock in every crevice you find corruption. Close by you find its life-partner, incompetence. This time its the Republican neocons but there will be others to take over the cesspit. Nellie (below) is right; if you overlook what has happened and wait for it to go away, it will just happen again. Under a different banner, for a different cause but corruption and incompetence will remain. The American public have to take radical steps to reveal and destroy these evils or America can never again be great. Apathy is your worst enemy.

Posted by: R Bingham | May 2, 2007 03:35 PM

Nellie is actually above!

Posted by: R Bingham | May 2, 2007 03:36 PM

Beto hanging in the wind is a useful distraction for the WH. With all the attention at Main Justice, it tends to obscure the hands pulling the strings. And one thing that has become painfully obvious is the Gonzo is no puppetmaster. I think the point about the toxic environment for the hearings of a new AG has merit...but I think the overriding factor is that Gonzo proves to be a useful distraction from the real shenanigans.

I was traveling when AG was in front of the Senate, so can anyone tell me if anyone asked him about emailgate? After all he was WH Councilor when much of the WH policy was being abused. Or were there ground rules that stated only this mess could be questioned?

And to think he was sent to Justice to "season" him up prior to a Supreme nomination. Spooky, no?

Posted by: WOW | May 2, 2007 03:54 PM

Is there anyone in this Republican administration who has the most basic standards of honesty? Are any of them capable of setting aside partisan politics so they can do what is right for our country? This is the most disgraceful and incompetent administration in our nation`s history, hands down.

Posted by: mikeasr | May 2, 2007 04:47 PM

We in the United States have long publicly claimed that we are in deed a nation of laws and not of men, but we have refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and while President Clinton signed the Compact on Human Rights, the Seante has failed to ratify it. A very good argument exists if we are to remain a free people, we must be subject to international jurisdiction. Such perspective would let us treat Gonzales like any other lawyer that intentionally lies to a judge - punch his ticket and him be a lay person and not a lawyer for a while.

Posted by: Bill Freeman | May 2, 2007 05:12 PM

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!

If we would stop looking over everybody's shoulder and see what they were doing, they wouldn't make mistakes. Why don't you start by seeing how you act at work? Do you take longer breaks, take office pens, check email during work? You are in the wrong as well....so I guess you should be FIRED!!

Anyway, remember what your puny house speaker did a couple of weeks ago???

If you need a reminder, SHE CONSPIRED WITH A IST SUPPORTER!!!!!

MAybe we should impeach her????

Let the elected people do their jobs and stop running your mouth at everybody because you couldn't do what they do.

And for all of you people that support the troops, you are actually supporting the President himself because he is their Commander.

Feel free to reply.

Have a good day.

Posted by: Matthew Mehesy | May 2, 2007 05:16 PM

Can Bush put a new Atty General in place as a recess appointment, a la John Bolton? If so, no need for confirmation proceedings and the new AG could effectively serve until the administration's end - well, not quite as the new Congress would begin a couple of weeks before the end of Bush's term, but it could sidestep the need for hearings.

Posted by: sceptic | May 2, 2007 05:16 PM

Sorry guys. He was making an assertion of what the law is. There are disagreements as to what the law is all the time. In order for something to be a lie, it has to be a factual assertion (e.g., "The traffic light was green."). Legal assertions (e.g., "My client's actions were permitted under the doctrine of self defense.") are a different animal.

The judge may have disagreed with the administration's position. Consequently, they sought to have the law clarified so that there would be no doubt in the future.

Where did he "lie"?

Posted by: confident | May 2, 2007 05:18 PM

Lie to the public, lie to congress, lie to the judiciary, lie to the UN. A fantasy ideology built on lies. When they realize they've lied to themselves, there is only one honorable way out. This is the definition of Madness. So banal, so ordinary and unremarkable. Have we all become so numbed to this gross incompetence and malicious falsehoods?

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 2, 2007 05:22 PM

If the other attorneys were fired for "performance" related issues, does that mean that Gonzales' would rate his own performance in his role as better? If the standard applied to the victim attorneys was applied to Gonzales, it would seem he should be drawn and quartered. The lower standard applied to a higher and more powerful rank is very confusing for us lay people.

Posted by: Judy Meltzer | May 2, 2007 05:23 PM

What would the founding fathers think? What a depraved bunch of swine we have in power now. 19 more months, God help us!!!

Posted by: Brian M of MT | May 2, 2007 05:27 PM

I thought the issue of telling a lie was resolved during the Clinton Presidency ... you mean it's not okay?

Posted by: D W H | May 2, 2007 05:31 PM

While constantly frustrated and appalled by Bush et.al....I can't help but wonder about the rest of the republicans in congress who claim to have problems with what he and his cronies have done, are doing, and plan to keep doing ("you can't make me") but refuse to cross party lines and truly support what the people they represent are wanting. Their votes do not reflect what every poll has shown with regard to the number of Americans against this war and this administration.

Posted by: Judy in Austin | May 2, 2007 05:44 PM

America in 2007 has changed so much since ten years ago that I doubt many are aware of the magnitude of the change.

This used to be a great country, that did great things.

Posted by: sofa king loud | May 2, 2007 05:45 PM

Gonzalez should serve until the last minute of the last day of his term

Posted by: Mike | May 2, 2007 05:46 PM

Doesn't this point out a very dangerous weakening of the separation of powers established by the US Constitution? This is how it looks to me: The Executive Branch wants a certain political task done; they tell their guys in the Judiciary Branch to get it done, but there's a problem because it's "counter-legal"; but no problem, the guys in Judiciary tell their pals in the Legislative Branch what laws they need changed, and how, and the change is quickly and quietly inserted into a bill, any bill really, that's under discussion.

As I recall my last civics class, several years back, this is the opposite of how the government was intended to work. Is this, then, the goal of the GOP: to create Bizarro-USA?

Posted by: Kevin J-M | May 2, 2007 05:46 PM

In my lifetime I never thought I'd see our country so damaged, and not by an evil man, but instead a man who raises incompetence to the level of malignancy. In his relentless effort to justify himself, thousands of Americans and Iraqis die, many thousands more are injured for life, and our political representatives continue to insist that the consequences of restraining this man are too dire. One can only hope that someone amongst the candidates to replace him emerges who is willing to take the extreme measures necessary to repair this mess. Incinerate the 'Patriot Act', dismantle the 'SS' (Department of Homeland Security), and restore the Bill of Rights and our Constitution.

If that sounds a bit radical, I refer you to this quote:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Benjamin Franklin
(a founding Father)

Posted by: ted | May 2, 2007 05:46 PM

What has come to light about Gonzalez doesn't surprise me; after hearing him say that each of Bush's decisions has shown his great instincts (a distinction he made from substantive thinking), and that each has been the right one, no matter what the contradictions week to week (as evident even to one who reads the paper daily), I knew his veracity was highly malleable. Unfortunately I've noticed the same about the two frontrunning Democrat candidates: a willingness to play to myths and special interest self-importance leads both to stand for positions which don't follow from facts.To Mr.Safdiah above, you may have believed that as a boomer, but we can't really blame Bush entirely. His entire generation (especially those in college of '68 on)has enabled the current duplicitous situation with their ideologies of the personal, the self, ends justify means, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze etc..given a glib and ultimately cynical "pragmatist" and populist application, the counterculture turned Reagan revolution yuppies and then technocrats, manifestations of "identity" this and that, behaviorism, and the religious incorporation of many of these methods; the situation has been enabled because that generation are now the leaders in government and of the supposedly evil, monolithic corporations, and lawyers, and they grew up with many of the tacit assumptions underlying Bush's policies. And why did so many women support Bush's viewpoints? He echoed many things that I think tacitly resonate with much of that majority group in terms of social respectability and belonging, safety,personal " freedom", the various "identity" and "freedom" ideologies, a silent assumption that dubious means are justified by a worthy cause/label, a silent belief that structure/rules is/are good in itself, winning mirrors personal worth etc.. Bush and his administration exemplify much of the changes of the 70's through the 90's, and they were allowed to prevail as long as they won. Most of the attitudes he is faulted for now he has evidenced before on innumerable occasions. Of course not that the mainstream media would state these when success seemed to be with him.

Posted by: ingvar sparks | May 2, 2007 05:47 PM

This stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Joanna | May 2, 2007 05:52 PM

I hate to rain on anyone's parade and I'm not a Gonzalez fan, BUT the inconsistency Cohen describes is not inconsistent at all. Oftentimes a lawyer will think the law favors his position but because of some ambiguity can not count on it. She might seek legislation making it even clearer that his position is correct. So telling a judge the guy is operating lawfully might well be true, even while trying to pass legislation that removes any doubts.

Therefore the premise of Cohen's piece, that Gonzalez lied to the Judge, is not necessarily true based on the facts Cohen cites.

Posted by: Ralph | May 2, 2007 05:53 PM

2/3rds vote to Impeach Bush and Cheney! THATS IT! Done deal! In two weeks! Send them home with Impeachments Certificates!

All "WE" need is a few Washington republicans to cast an honest vote - with the rest of the democrats - and place Pelosi and a vice-mate in the White House until the next election.

And the alternative? Continue down the road of Bush's doom and gloom America.

Posted by: Von GR | May 2, 2007 05:54 PM

Did Mr. Cohen also feel that President Clinton should resign for misleading a grand jury?

Posted by: John Cain | May 2, 2007 05:54 PM

Yeah, it's true, in our system there is no way to get rid of presidents who are tyrannical, insane, senile, serial liars, grasping cheaters, drunks, drug addicts, or possesed by demons or mentally deficient.
So why bother discussing what they or their chums do. Or electing them? Let Halliburton and the other off-shore multinational corporations decide directly and leave us out of it.
End the charade. Down with representative government, down with democracy, down with truth, and justice!
Let's stop wasting our time on this stupid obsolete stunted facade of a system. We could be having fun!

Posted by: | May 2, 2007 05:55 PM

Gonzales and Wolfowitz. Both cut from the same cloth. Where did they learn their ethics? Their behavior is similar to what we expect to see from some African dictator.

'I'm right...the other guys are wrong. They (the bad guys) are just trying to bring me(the good guys) down. What I'm doing is a greater good.'

Wrong - what your doing is embarrassing yourself, your office and this country.

Follow BP's Lord Brown's example and resign when caught. Don't make it worse with more lies. Resigning is the only ethical thing to do.

Posted by: David B | May 2, 2007 06:00 PM

The key to Gonzalez is to impeach him. If the House J committe votes the articles, he would probably quit. If the full House voted to go along, he woudl surely quit. And it would send a message to the two war criminals at the top that the Dems are serious about saving the country.

Posted by: Disgusted | May 2, 2007 06:01 PM

More succinctly, whether Gonzalez lied depends on two questions: first, did he really believe the law before its amendment supported what the U.S. Attorney was doing (if he believed it, he wasn't lying) and second, did the law before it was amended in fact support what the U.S. Attorney was doing. If the answer to either question is "yes," then Gonzalez was not lying or acting improperly. We aren't given the answer to the first or second question, and seeking an amendment to a law doesn't necessarily show that the law didn't support your position, albeit less clearly, in the first place. SO WE ARE GIVEN NO FACTS THAT PROVE GONZALEZ WAS LYING, not that I think he wouldn't, that lousy despoiler of our federal law enforcement system.

Posted by: Ralph | May 2, 2007 06:04 PM

you stink we need keery back instead of your freaken tail and i dont care if you dont like it im your father

Posted by: | May 2, 2007 06:07 PM

The two party system has led us down this crooked path and it is time perhaps to consider Madison's general theory that freedom is safer in the presence of a multitude of counterbalancing forces, which can act to check the tyrannical impulses of any of them.

Posted by: J. Leopold | May 2, 2007 06:08 PM

Lets face it, this administration is corrupt.

Posted by: John Kaisermann | May 2, 2007 06:09 PM

Well, if we have Gonzales leave for not telling the truth, how about Bush, Cheney, and a mojority of those in the places of power when they talked about Weapons of Mass Destruction to lead us into war (and since that time)? If Saddam would have hid out with his weapons of mass destruction, I guess he would still be alive.

Posted by: bob sobotta | May 2, 2007 06:10 PM

I'm not sure if he lied, or if this is just more evidence of the brain damage Mr. Gonzales made evident when he claimed there's nothing in the Constitution or the Geneva Convention prohibiting torture.

Why is anyone surprised?

Posted by: Rod Miller-Boyer | May 2, 2007 06:10 PM

Does anyone know how many US Attourneys Bill Clinton had fired? I'm sure it wouldn't matter really, because Clinton never did anything for political reasons. I am amazed at how many people are ready to throw any Republican to the wolves; assumed guilty with only "facts" from the media.

Before anyone rakes me over the coals, let me just say if you have proof from a legal source that can be quoted, then present it. Media persons are not people in our legal system, nor are hollywood celebrities. Find the proof, present it, or keep your mouth shut. To do otherwise would be to commit gossip.

Posted by: Eric B Harbison | May 2, 2007 06:19 PM

Gonzo is pretty much a dirtbag. I've met drug dealers with better ethics and who are more trustable than this dirtbag is.

Posted by: Gentry | May 2, 2007 06:20 PM

"Drip drip" is an APT way to describe what is s-l-o-w-l-y turning into Chinese water torture for ALL!

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://OsiSpeaks.org

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | May 2, 2007 06:23 PM

Why get rid of the perfect flak catcher? As long as Gonzales is there the attention will be directed toward him. He is the perfect foil. I wonder if he is bright enough to know it.

Posted by: Fred Grimm | May 2, 2007 06:24 PM

lets start firing lying senators to beginning with kerry, clinton, kennedy, reid, hagel, bird, etc. its time to clean house peloski merffa. we've had all the senate and congress that this country can afford

Posted by: jack | May 2, 2007 06:26 PM

The reason Bush will not fire Gonzales is simple: Bush would then be forced to appoint a REAL Attorney General. Once confirmed (and no partisan hack like Gonzales would ever be confirmed by this Congress) this new, REAL Attorney General would inevitably pursue cases that would probably land Bush, Cheney, Rove and the rest in jail. The president will not fire Alberto Gonzales.

Posted by: Mark F. | May 2, 2007 06:27 PM

Gonzo has to stay because Bush needs someone compliant to keep abusing our Constitutional rights. Between the tens of thousands of National Security Letters used to harvest private data on private citizens who were not even under investigation, to all the other warrantless spying going on, Bush is now pushing for a bill that will effectively gut what little is left of our Fourth Amendment rights under FISA and he needs a lackey who will run interference while the TRUE partisan hacks pry into the lives of people who have not a damned thing to do with terrorism...like political opponenents, Democrats of all stripes, anyone who opposes the war in Iraq, anyone who opposes ANY policy of this criminal and tyrannical administration. Gonzo is perfect for the job; wind him up and he will say whatever Bush wants him to, do anything he is asked, and never ever EVER ask "Is this even legal?"

Our Founding Fathers would already have Washington surrounded, muskets at the ready, for defiling the government they worked so hard to establish and protect. Maybe Jefferson was right: we need an armed revolution every 20 years or so to keep politicians like these from ever consolidating too much power.

Posted by: windrider | May 2, 2007 06:47 PM

If we allow Mr. Bush and his cohorts to endure in their positions of power until their terms end, we risk them burning down the buildings on the way out, literally and figurativly. They are all about the goal, any means are justified, except their execution is so pitiful all they do is destroy what was and leave rubble for us to crawl over. I don't want to give them anymore time to break anything else. It's like having a bear in your house, better shoot it before it tears something else up.
Bush et al should be tarred and feathered, then properly tried and either hanged or made to be the cast and crew of one of those horrible home decorating shows.

Posted by: Knot Likehim | May 2, 2007 06:48 PM

To Ron above especially, Exactomundo!

The action doesn't exist or apply if you change the words, which one can do when they need to. Shameless and typical, but hey, the desire for fantasy in our own image is why Hollywood has the influence and millions it does, and sophistical acting, has become a way, perhaps the dominant way, of social, legal, religious, and even personal life.

Posted by: j | May 2, 2007 06:50 PM

By nominating Gonzales to be Attorney General George Bush has saved this country from an even more significant legal tragedy. Gonzales could probably have been confirmed to serve for life as a Justice of the Supreme Court, and his dishonesty would not have been as easy to remedy.

Posted by: David V. | May 2, 2007 06:50 PM

Best if the Democrats let up on the resignation pressure. Gonzo is neutralized, to use an overly polite term, and in fact he is a serious liability to Bush. Let them twist in the wind. Hopefully we can look forward to an honest and competent individual there post Bush.

Posted by: Evans | May 2, 2007 06:55 PM

Sorry, Rod, not Ron.

Posted by: j | May 2, 2007 06:57 PM

This is silly.

The whole article was supposed to be about a "devastating" example of how Gonzales lied to a judge, but there's no indication at all that he lied. It's certainly possible that anything he says is a lie, but nothing in the story hints of it.

Inserting a provision in a bill to explicitly state something DOES NOT mean that it wasn't already true already. Ask the judge whether this was a lie, and I'm sure he'll just roll his eyes at your ignorance.

Posted by: Sam | May 2, 2007 06:57 PM

First, in response to this article, "lying" is not the proper term, unless the A.G. deliberately mislead the Judge. Every attorney, let alone the highest in the land, knows that every word you say in Court is "on the record" (transcribed by court reporter). Therefore, rarely does an attorney "lie" on the record. Twist the facts? For sure. Dodge or Spin? Every day. One thing is for certain - the A.G. would not commit perjury; knowing full well that a paper trail exists - to save the second job a Montanan USDA. More than likely, he was not aware, or forgot that particluar rider in the bill. Hence, you can make an argument as to the lack of preparation, but "lying" (perjury) is innapropriate in these circumstances.

Second, your hate for the Bush administration is clouding your judgment. I am not an faithful supporter of this administration. That said, George W. Bush is still the President, and therefore, both the President and his staff deserve due respect. Hurling around unfounded criminal charges concerning the Executive Branch does damage to the office that will last beyond this administration and the next.

Posted by: Eric | May 2, 2007 06:58 PM

Isn't this Gonzales thing just a distraction from Haliburton moving to Dubai to put out of reach all the cash they have overbilled the goverment for?

Posted by: Mecle | May 2, 2007 06:58 PM

For those diehard Republicans on this board who are trying to excuse the Gonzales and Bush ethically challenged behavior on the basis that Clinton lied to a grand jury about his sexual escapades, remember that he was impeached for it. Why should not Bush and Gonzales both be impeached as well, especially as their dishonesty has had a lot more serious consequences for a lot more people [getting blown apart can ruin your whole day.] And for those who get up on their high horse about presenting proof and reliable testimony that there has been anything untoward going on in the Bush administration, please. You are the people depending on Limbaugh, Hannity, OReilly, the Swift Boat people, Drudge, etc. to push your agenda. Do not even suggest that you have pure principles, or any principles at all for that matter. As for trying to smear Clinton with the same brush that Gonzales is being tarred with, remember that after Clinton appointed the attorneys, he left them alone to do their job. These guys who Bush & Co. just fired were appointed by Bush, but when they did their job, they were removed when they got too close to investigating Republican misbehavior. Or are you going to claim that it was all a coincidence? ***************************************************************************

I also doubt that Bush will allow Gonzales to resign for the reasons that Ms. Holtzman has stated. Namely, that in order to get a confirmation hearing, Bush might be required to first allow Rove and Rice and possibly others to face the music. Also, Gonzales was excellent at concealing the misdeeds of the administration in his performance before the committee. Why else would Bush be so enthusiastic about his performance?

Posted by: dkm | May 2, 2007 07:04 PM

With all the "antics" that have currently taken place in D.C. area, amongst purported
high officials, that may be involved in
The pricey massage parlor, and that this
matter may be "stonewalled" by this
administration, why the impetus to castigate the Attorney General, and make
disgusting and disparaging remarks about him?
You must remember, if you have had experience to feel the pressure, someone
above Alberto Gonzales could have really
"leaned on him" regarding Attorneys
participating politically. and so forth? Who knows.
Itis a rude, crass, and dumb homo sapien
that would refer to the Attorney General
as a dirtbag. They should try brushing
their teeth with strong soap every day,
and stop "throwing rocks" if they do not
know what they are alleging. I really doubt that they know what they are saying!
Thank you.
R Lloyd Heberden

Email: Lheberden@iinet.com

Posted by: R Lloyd Heberden | May 2, 2007 07:09 PM

This administration has given virtually ALL our natural assets away to global conglomerates. It is unconsionable to me how this congress and senate, let alone the NEW supreme court will cave to any and all pro business special interests.
Where is the accountability??


Posted by: Michael | May 2, 2007 07:10 PM

The article says that Gonzales told the judge that it all right to live outside the district. It also states that Mercer requested that a Senate staffer insert a provision into a bill allowing him to live outside the district. What Mercer might know is not always what Gonzales would know.

The problem in proving lying is that Gonzales might not have known that Mercer asked to get the provision. Also, Mercer might be trying to make sure by getting an explicit approval by having the bill instead of there being no clear precedent about living outside a district. No one has cited a law or case about requiring residence in the district where they are serving.

A judge would usually ask what legal precedence there is out there about an issue and then he or she look up the references for themself.

Texas has the usual bar rule about candor to the tribunal, but the lack of candor has to be shown.

I think it was a bad decision to remove the U.S. Attorneys in the middle of the term for not much reason.

Posted by: Mark A. | May 2, 2007 07:10 PM

I like the point that was made about Gonzales could be on the Supreme Court. I had not thought about that.

Posted by: dkm | May 2, 2007 07:14 PM

Cohen, a known leftist hit man, is on another witch hunt against AG Gonzales. He never lets up, except, of course if the person of interest is a Democrat. His subjective journalism lacks a key ingredient: credibility. But we all (internally) know that.

Posted by: Ern Wyatt | May 2, 2007 07:17 PM

While history will judge this Administration harshly, the Bushies will laugh all the way to (the foreign) bank...Welcome to the Republican America whose motto seems to be Rape the Country and Run...but stay in Iraq...

Posted by: Mom | May 2, 2007 07:18 PM

Several people have posted comments along the line of since these people are our President, our Attorney General, etc., they deserve respect. Why? Why should they automatically get respect just because of their job title? Should they not have to earn it, just like everyone else? Do you think that authority is somehow sacrosanct and should not be questioned? It seems obvious to me that the more power a person wields, the more he should be questioned. And surely no one would argue that any of the intimate group in the administration has earned respect.

Posted by: dkm | May 2, 2007 07:21 PM

Excuse me, but I read the original story, and this mass of mostly nonsensense above, and I still don't know just what was the lie Gonzales told the judge. Something like it all depends what "is" is? Or how your semen got on Monica's skirt? If Gonzales lied, then this sure is lousy reporting.

Join the Howard Beale Memorial Society. Get Mad! Fight Back! Turn the Rascals Out -- all of them -- and the Sooner the Better!! Save America!!! And to solve the Illegal Immigration issue, just do what our frontier ancestors did. Call out the Tar and Feathers brigade and give each illegal a fast ride across the border on a splintery rail. It's tough going, to be sure, but still more humane than the treatment Americans get in Mexico when they enter illegally and cause trouble. Those Mexican jails are something else again. You don't ever want to go back again, not if you survive the first time.

Posted by: Lew Warden | May 2, 2007 07:27 PM

After reading the comments above, it certainly appears that small mind think alike.

Posted by: Western New Yorker | May 2, 2007 07:34 PM

Right on DKM.

I wish the GOP Faithful would also remember that Janet Reno could have fired Ken Starr but didn't. She didn't want to appear to be showing favoritism even after Ken's "investigation" went well beyond the original intent. How, exactly, were Monica and Paula involved in the Whitewater scandal?

Posted by: Matt | May 2, 2007 07:42 PM

Видео канал по BMX
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Posted by: BMXaafff | May 2, 2007 07:55 PM

What a combination: a president and an AG who are both dishonest and incompetent.

Posted by: Robert James | May 2, 2007 08:22 PM

All the John Cains in America have now is President Clinton's lie vs the current administration multitude of lies.

Guess what? Clinton did not lie when he said he wanted the budget balanced. It came true. Clinton did not lie when he tried to bomb Al-Qaeda while facing a blood thirsty congress. Al-Qaeda exists.

Rumsfeld lied. Cheney lied. Rice lied. Rove lied. Tenet lied. Gonzales lied. They all lied to the American public about Iraq.
And one man who did and could still stand up to the whole administration, Powell, was set up to lie to the world about Iraq. I am glad he's out of the current administration. A man of principle. Future president maybe?

I would remember George Bush Junior as a president who made and/or forced the Congress to lie to the American public and to the world to protect his 'family'.

I disagree that he is a better man than a previous president who was made and/or forced to lie to the whole Congress to protect his family.

Posted by: V. Ajik | May 2, 2007 08:29 PM

Hi All;

It pains me to say this, but the comments here from people like Hebergen and Tom King show that Dennis Kucinich has the right idea. Only by impeaching these men can the US hope to regain its place in the world as the standard bearer for truth and justice, and consign the Bush legacy to the dustbin of history.

I never thought I would say this because the debacle of having Clinton impeached for lying about a sex matter made us the laughingstock of the entire world. I never wanted the impeachment weapon used again in my lifetime. The Hebergens and Kings of this world gave us that embarrassment, and then saddled us with the travesty of the Bush administration. But since the Hebergens and Kings will never understand the difference between lies to protect your family and privacy and lying to protect power, it is up to us to impeach these dirtbags (no other word is sufficient, Hebergen) and show the rest of the world that government of the people shall not perish in the USA under our watch.

He may not be presidential material, but Dennis Kucinich is right, just as he was right about the war.

One last thing, Hebergen and King. Before you start whining about personal attacks, know that you should take it personally. Your politics are an abomination to any true American, and we view people like you and George Bush as a far greater threat to our democracy than any terrorist.

If impeachment fails, look out in 2009 brothers, because the vast expansion of power you have supported for your Bush cronies will then be turned against you, and you will reap what you have sown.

Posted by: Tom Rahalad | May 2, 2007 08:38 PM

Gonzo and the Bush are in the shrubbery together. I ams sure he knows a thing or two about Bush which coud roast the old frat boy. Somethings never change. I would have given my real name, but I do not want to finish up in Gitmo.

Posted by: Alcibiades | May 2, 2007 08:42 PM

As a Democrat, I love having Gonzales remain in office. He's a constant reminder of the incompetence of the current administration.

Posted by: Chuck Curtis | May 2, 2007 08:43 PM

While we are upset about Gonzo and Virginia Tech, dozen of our troops are dying each day for nothing. Bush NEEDS these distraction. I can never forgive his comment that he couldn't be "funny" on the comedy hour because of the deaths at Virginia Tech. Not a word about our boys and girls dying and maimed for life - he hardly mentions them at all. I knew the day he hired an animal doctor as the public health director for women's health that all was lost. Every WH appointment has been a terrible, horrible joke on America.

Posted by: gramma | May 2, 2007 08:46 PM

Gonzo has been with bush since before the beginning. He probably would know a lot of things that the shrub could be charged for. Lucky thing he has such a lousy memory.

Posted by: Kenny Boy | May 2, 2007 08:51 PM

Why so surprised? U.S. Attorney's are and have been notoriously corrupt. If they were worth their pay they would be correcting the numerous government violations of unalienable rights that the constitution allegedly is supposed to protect (that means the U.S. Attorney's), which go unprosecuted decade after decade. Like the individuals right to property and labor? Gonzales is just one more thorn in the American peoples side. And, Bush is the guy who is paid to keep that thorn in place. Long live the feudal states of America! Where rights have to be done away with so that we can all be free?

Posted by: Nat Freeman | May 2, 2007 09:01 PM

AGHHHHHHHHHHH!

I'm back!

What you people need to do is go to Iraq or talk to "career" soldiers about what is going on there. The majority of Iraqis love our troops and want them to be there. The majority of our troops wanted the President to deploy more troops. You may think that more soldiers are going to get killed...WRONG!!!!....what the troop upgrades have done are giving soldiers less time out in the field..and more time resting. Before the upgrades, there were some soldiers who were patrolling Baghdad for 24 hours straight...now, no one is allowed to patrol for more than 16 hours...

and for the person that said Go should help us....He has, by giving us this President of morals and conviction...and that is why he is standing his ground..he does not give in to ism or Congress

and if anyone is concerned about being wire-tapped by Gozalez, when the JD says they stopped a plot to detonate a nuclear thanks to wire-tapping, feel free to thank the JD.

I'm out.

Once again, feel free to reply

Posted by: Matthew Mehesy | May 2, 2007 09:15 PM

I meant to say God should help us....my bad

Posted by: Matthew Mehesy | May 2, 2007 09:17 PM

Knowledge of what this president and his entire administration has done is frightening. What is even more frightening is that there is still a high level of support among Republicans, both elected officials and general populace, for this corrupt administration.

Posted by: Gardenia | May 2, 2007 09:31 PM

Before this is all said and done I would not be surprised to see Gonzales impeached. Even though this is rare, early onset Alzheimer's (in the days before the condition had a name) has been used on at least one other occasion for removal that I am aware of (I see many parallels with the case of Judge John Pickering. Gonzo may not be raving drunk mad, but his erratic behavior, absenteeism, and his abysmal memory are certainly in line with this standard).

It's unlikely that this will happen, and it is probably not politically advantageous for Democrats to push this, but, given the White House's bunker mentality at this stage, it may come into play. For the time being Gonzales is likely to be hounded by the press and protesters during his national public relations tour Part II. Things will only get worse as more DOJ political staff lawyer up.

At this stage congress can still leverage Gonzales and the DOJ through its funding requests. It boggles the mind that he is still drawing a federal paycheck. Although perhaps not so surprising given this administration's lowest common denominator approach to governance. At least Gonzales didn't do anything illegal, right?

Time will tell.

Posted by: JP2 | May 2, 2007 11:32 PM

This current President has done more to tarnish the office of President than ALL the presidents who went before him!! He has overlooked Outright Lies to justify WAR and allowed his people to lie and obfuscate when ever it was politically expedient!! I Think you Americans have a name for people like him CARPETBAGGER! AT THE END OF WORLD WAR 11,AMERICA,was the Bastion of Democracy and Freedom! Oh how far you have fallen!!

Posted by: John Thomas | May 2, 2007 11:44 PM

"when we talk about the Constitution and its relation to the government and the lives of the people all over the United States, we must try to talk about it in simple and direct language and avoid use of adjectives and superlatives which causes so many of the younger generation to demand the 'debunking' of much of our historical writing and political oratory. ...p111...most of the American people live under the protection of their constitutional government as they do in the atmosphere being largely unaware of its existence as far as any conscious understanding of its nature and history is concerned. P 112...the VA bill of rights of 1776, described in the preamble as 'the basis and foundation of government," the 15th paragraph reads that No free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people but...by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles. ..The same idea was expressed by John Adams in the 18th article of the Mass Bill of Rights of 1780 when he said:A frequent recurrent to the fundamental principles of the Constitution .... Are absolutely necessary to presser the advantages of liberty and to maintain a free government;...And that the people

Have a right to require of the law-givers and magistrates an exact and constant observance of them in the formation and execution of the laws."

An address before the Sentinels of the Republic at the Hotel Biltmore, N.Y. on Jan 13, 1927By Frank W Grinnell
Mass Law Quarterly dec 17 1927 p 110-
N2 vol xiii


Posted by: Kay Sieverding | May 3, 2007 12:23 AM

Mehesy wrote:
---and if anyone is concerned about being wire-tapped by Gozalez, when the JD says they stopped a plot to detonate a nuclear thanks to wire-tapping, feel free to thank the JD.---

Sorry I can't let you get away with that. I don't care how the Bush administration saves anyone by breaking the law. Would you condone the police breaking into every house in your area to find a rapist who might be living in the area? That is against the law too, and unconstitutional. This mindset the republicans are trying to brainwash Americans into is dead wrong. You cannot suspend constitutional guarantees to make America a little safer. Bush broke the FISA Act, secretly, and should be impeached for it. If the Constitution can be put on hold by secret presidential order, then the Constitution of the United States is worthless. We do not elect dictators in America and no official is above the law or the constitution.

My question now is whether the AG broke a law by lying to a judge. There seems to a question about that but considering the response from Montana's two senators I'm not so sure. I expect Gonzo to be dragged before Congress about this little matter.

Posted by: Fate | May 3, 2007 08:28 AM

Gee, a lawyer that lies. Go figure.

Posted by: Sam | May 3, 2007 09:00 AM

you yanks have one hell of a government - shame we are slow learners down under - we don't have the two terms and your out luxury - but still i reckon you guys should impeach the bush because he is a bad guy

Posted by: Rufous Firewheel | May 3, 2007 09:04 AM

Yap yap yap, all you liberals, while you live in tents and smoke grass. Let the government do its business and yap no more. The economy is doing well, and we Americans are getting laid and paid. So hush up and be very thankful that there's still grass for the smoking, y'all.

Posted by: idiotic liberals | May 3, 2007 09:25 AM

It is amazing to me how democrats are so spineless. President Bush will go down in history as the most influential president in our history once iraq is a up and running democacy. I guess liberating millions of people and taking a stand against islamic facist is a bad thing. Or maybe he should just pull out run like clinton once his ratings started to drop for attempting to stand up to these psychos! You all will see just how patriotic and good hearted are president is!!!! Good luck Hilary Clinton. If she becomes president God help us!!!

Posted by: Jesse C. | May 3, 2007 09:30 AM

You have to understand Bush and his team. He is supported by and he supports the religious right. They are so righteous in there mind, they are on God's side so everything they do is justified and right. This is the problem with mixing religion with politics.

Posted by: Doug Zimmerman | May 3, 2007 09:31 AM

Thanks for the gutsy reporting and blogging that is unravelling the misuse of power not just by Gonzales, but by Wolfowitz, Bush personally and the entire gang. It is correct that Bush cant afford to lose Gonzales. He knows where all the bodies are buried, both in D.C. and Texas. The same goes for Wolfowitz(managing the anti-AIDS faith-based money in Africa and the debt forgiveness for Iraq and dozens of other countries). With each Congressional hearing the brief for impeachment of Bush and Cheney grows.

Posted by: dick ginnold | May 3, 2007 09:36 AM

Rufous is correct, we should impeach the bush. Not because he's a bad guy though, but because he has zero principles, and even less intelligence.

Posted by: Tommy | May 3, 2007 09:39 AM

In the examination for citizenship that this country administers, one question is what is meant by the phrase, "the rule of law."

It means that no one is above the law, not the president, not the vice-president, not the attorney general, not a member of congress.

The question is not whether Bush and cohorts have broken the law, but how many times. I am weary, too, but we must prosecute these liars and thieves.

Incidentally, Slogthrop, my admiration for anyone who can allude to the Slough of Despond (though Pilgrim's Progress bores me generally).

Posted by: Jack Butler | May 3, 2007 09:40 AM

As a criminal defense attorney, I had to defend myself against a police officer's belief that I misled a sitting Judge in having a case dismissed based on alibi misrepresentations given me by my client who was a practicing lawyer. The accusation against me was dismissed, but the client lawyer was suspended from the practice of law for 2-3 years. Steps should be taken to put Gonzales under the gun as I was, and impeach the AG because he will never resign, and the President will never ask him to quit--because any confirmed replacement won't turn out to be such a "loyal Bushie".

Posted by: chuckie | May 3, 2007 09:42 AM

The "Right" makes a lot of noise about how taking away out constitutional rights is making us safer, and they offer many example of how the wire tapping and secret military tribunals are good for Americans because we are safer not knowing what they are doing. I could say the real reason we are safer because a guy in blue tights is catching bad guys with his x-ray vision, but I can't say any more for "reasons of national security."

You can say whatever you want when you can hide behind that impregnable "security" shield.

To quote that dangerous radical thinker Benjamin Franklin "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

See ya'

Posted by: Jim | May 3, 2007 10:03 AM

re Fate:
what the Constitution tries to say is far from worthless, but many in bad faith act as if it is irrelevant and suspect because
it was written before the current economic and media/communications system (when even unconstitutional laws pushed through in the early 70's can't be used) , and therefore couldn't explicitly stipulate against a economic practice (if something is contrary to the intent of a legal principle, no problem, therefore it can be pushed through the mostly unregulated after-1980 commercial/corporate, media, and social outlets; Yes, folks, Freedom!), or inherently invalidated because a few of the framers owned slaves (even though not espousing racist beliefs associated with the practice).

Also to this Mehesy guy who claims the majority of Iraqis love the troops and want them to be there,I may not have paid enough attention at the time, but how did a majority of Iraqis request this great service for which they are supposed to be grateful? The opposition to the U.S. forces for which countless Iraqis have been killed is only instigated by al-Quaeda, right? How is this known? All the explicit demonstrations by native Iraqis to the point of even the American-installed government, asking for "the occupier" (after a long period of being too beseiged and afraid to do so openly) to be removed, those were just fomented by radical clerics, right? Of course the current administration tells its people the truth, and wouldn't ever deliberately misrepresent facts and images that it doesn't control, always restrains itself from lying and oppressing inconvenient impediments/people to its whims and "will", would never without restraint confer positions as "personal" favors. Apparently Wolfowitz and Gonzalez have been exposed as among the many al-Quaeda operatives.

Posted by: girard | May 3, 2007 12:15 PM

Washington Post reporter Dan Eggen states that it was illegal for U.S. Attorney for Montana, Bill Mercer, to work in Washington for DOJ rather than in Montana for the people of his own State. Knowing only what was provided in Mr. Cohen's article, I'm curious why he never cited a law that he says was broken. Instead, Cohen says that Mercer's act of having the legality specifically written into law proves that it must have previously been illegal. Cohen extends this pronouncement of illegality to conclude that AG Gonzales therefore lied by saying that it WAS legal. I wonder if in fact it really WAS illegal? Could it be that the law wasn't specific on this point, and that Mercer wanted to perfect his position to avoid having reporters come down on him as proved to be the fate of AG Gonzales? Given what Cohen presented to the reader, Cohen (by allusion or quotation) uses Eggen to establish the illegality as a fact. Yet, there was nothing factual presented to the reader this regard. It seems to me that Cohen has done a masterful job of perpetuating AG Gonzales' guilt by innuendo. If it was actually against the law for Mercer to work for DOJ, the reader would surely expect to see that facr prominently mentioned. But we never saw that. All we got was innuendo. By this standard, AG Gonzales surely lied when he said that it was Mercer was legal. But Cohen was very effective. Most readers are now certain that Gonzales lied. Whether whether he did or didn't is unimportant to Cohen. His words serve his politics.

Posted by: Jeff | May 3, 2007 01:38 PM

release the reagan pappers and the bush sr papers----then we can know how we were led into this mess....it started a longtime ago // I think his name was jfk.
congress dont want to know.

Posted by: truthme usa | May 3, 2007 02:24 PM

As a lawyer, I am particularly interested in the question of whether our US Attorney General lied to a judge. This article asserts that. However, the Eggan article on which it is based has the following relevant portions:

"Molloy wrote to Gonzales on Oct. 20, 2005, that Mercer was violating federal law because he "no longer resides in Montana" and was living with his family in the Washington area.

Three weeks later, on Nov. 10, Gonzales responded to Molloy that Mercer "is in compliance with the residency requirement" under federal law because he "is domiciled there, returns there on a regular basis, and will live there full-time as soon as his temporary assignment is completed."

On the same day back in Washington, the new legislation was added to the Patriot bill at the request of Mercer, who had been assigned the task of shepherding the provision through Congress, according to congressional aides and new statements from one of Mercer's colleagues."

Commentators are correct that assertions about what the law is would not be "lying." However, it is arguable that Gonzales knew that Mercer wasn't in compliance with the residency requirement and that a "fix" was in the works and more importantly, that Mercer would not be living "full-time" in Montana but that the amended law would allow him to live in D.C. permanently. That would be lying.

Posted by: Michael Wells | May 3, 2007 04:19 PM

As a person with significant background in the judicial system, I can assure one and all that "lying" to a judicial officer violates the rules of professional conduct enacted by many (if not all) states. If competent evidence demonstrates that Mr. Gonzales indeed did lie to a federal judge, he should be referred to his licensing state for disciplinary action. That could lead to censure, suspension or disbarrment. Any of those must lead to his immediate removal from office.

Posted by: Muleman | May 3, 2007 06:27 PM

the problem isnt only gonzales...it goes much higher when the rule of law, rule of court and due process of the constitution are not followed when the treaties that the USA have signed are not followed and the constitution is undermined by our elected officials. Impeachment makes sence for stupidity not for premeditated illegal activity which is very simply criminal and should be treated as such because the president and other officals are not above the laws of the USA or international laws which we have agreed to and then refuse to follow. The constitution says such activity is illegal criminal and is against the citizens of this country. The only recourse is arrest and trial especially for what we have found out about the lies that led us into the invasion of and war in Iraq. Is there any law enfforcement person or organization , federal, military or private citizens able to arrest these criminals who are continuing their crimes and lies on a daily basis. Who or what is controlling Bush or Chaney et all. The arrest and trials of the whole bunch could lead to the hands of the puppeteers and their eventual identities and hopefully not just the many scapegoats who were complicit in the actions of the few we know of that basically are not smart enough to pull this whole mess we are in as a country. PLEASE SOMEONE OUT THERE ARREST BUSH OR CHANEY AND GET THEM INTO COURT TO ANSWER QUESTION UNDER THE THREAT OF HANGING FOR THEIR MANY TREASONABLE ACTS AGAINST THIS COUNTRY> And soldirs be aware that it IS YOUR DUTY NOT TO OBEY I L L E G A L orders of being part of an illegal falsely initiated preemptive/preventive W A R.

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