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McNulty, Gonzales respond to Goodling testimony

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!


So she admitted to "crossing the line" albeit without any intent to break the law-- I think she actually said she "didn't intend to" do anything illegal.

First off, she's supposed to be a lawyer. Not just any 3rd tier law school graduate either, but like the number 3 justice dept. official-- a high-caliber lawyer. What level of legal expertise do you have to achieve where you can no longer credibly use the excuse, "i didn't mean to break any laws". I would expect the janitor at the justice dept. might not understand certain aspects of the federal law prohibiting politicizing the hiring process. But shouldn't the #3 inherently know better? I didn't see the hearing, but i don't get the feeling she was grilled on this hard enough.

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