Monica Goodling testified for 5 hours in front of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. She admitted to "crossing the line" and "mistakes" - typical Republican-speak for "breaking the law" - but there weren't the damning indictments I hoped for in relation to Karl Rove and Harriet Miers. Goodling was too well prepared for that, conveniently forgeting inconvenient details, and downplaying her involvement in the attorney purges.
But clearly Paul McNulty, who recently resigned from the Justice Department as the Deputy Attorney General, and the Attorney General himself were both worried about some of her testimony. So worried that they both separately released statements denying accusations she made.
Goodling said that McNulty "was not fully candid" in his February testimony, and that he knew more about the firings than he indicated. Not so, says McNulty:
I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress.
Hmm... he sounds worried to me. Goodling also had some pretty damning testimony about Gonzales, the highest law enforcement agent in the country. According to Goodling, Gonzales met with her in March and not-so-subtly tried to get their stories straight on the firings. Here's what a Justice Department spokesman had to say about that. A statement asserts that the Attorney General:
...has never attempted to influence or shape the testimony or public statements of any witness in this matter, including Ms. Goodling. The statements made by the attorney general during this meeting were intended only to comfort her in a very difficult period.
Well, of course! That makes so much sense. Gonzales is just your run of the mill compassionate conservative, and he was just trying to comfort Goodling. That's actually almost as disturbing as the truth - that Gonzales wanted to coach Goodling. Despite the fact that he testified to the same committee earlier that he had not spoken to senior aides about the firings since they occurred, to protect the integrity of the investigation. Yeah, right.
Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!