Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shut and Open Case

Goodling's refusal to testify illustrates the rising political and legal stakes surrounding the removal of the federal prosecutors, and underscores the fissures developing among Gonzales and his current and former senior aides as the attorney general struggles to keep his job.

The decision means a senior aide to the nation's top law enforcement official is in the remarkable position of refusing to testify for fear of implicating herself in a crime. Her lawyer portrays the move as strategic and says she has done nothing wrong.
Goodling's refusal contrasts sharply with the approach of her onetime colleague D. Kyle Sampson, Gonzales's former chief of staff, who resigned March 12: He has agreed to testify before the same Senate committee. Sampson has also disputed allegations by Gonzales and others that he withheld information about White House participation in the firings, which were initially portrayed as a routine Justice Department personnel matter undertaken without significant White House involvement.

Sampson is expected to testify that "the fact that the White House and Justice Department had been discussing this subject for several years was well known" to many senior Justice officials, including Goodling and others who had briefed department witnesses, according to a statement issued by his attorney March 16.

No comments: