Monday, March 26, 2007

Monica Goodling Takes Fifth

Alberto Gonzales senior council Monica Goodling will not testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She is invoking the fifth amendment.

"I have decided to follow my lawyer's advice and respectfully invoke my constitutional right, because the above-described circumstances present a perilous environment in which to testify," Goodling says.

Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) called the Attorney General's office, for the third time, to complain about U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Kyle Sampson, William Moschella and Monica Goodling talked with Domenici about Iglesias.

Goodling has enlisted the legal services of John M. Dowd and Jeffery M. King of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. King has defended clients using the fifth amendment defense. They issued a press release.

We represent Ms. Monica Goodling, Council to the Attorney General and White House Liaison. We were advised today by council to the Committee on the Judiciary that the Committee seeks Ms. Goodling's testimony with respect to the Committee's inquiry into the firings of United States Attorneys.

Please be advised that Ms. Goodling will, opon our advise, assert her fifth amendment privilege as to any and all questions related to that subject matter...

Patrick Leahy responds to Goodling taking the fifth.

“It is disappointing that Ms. Goodling has decided to withhold her important testimony from the Committee as it pursues its investigation into this matter, but everybody has the constitutional right not to incriminate themselves with regard to criminal conduct.

“The American people are left to wonder what conduct is at the base of Ms. Goodling’s concern that she may incriminate herself in connection with criminal charges if she appears before the Committee under oath.“

The administration is blaming Goodling for not properly informing Gonzales of the U.S. Attorney purge. The latest document dump proves Gonzales was aware of the firings.

The hour-long November meeting in the attorney general's conference room included Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty and four other senior Justice officials, including the Gonzales aide who coordinated the firings, then-Chief of Staff D. Kyle Sampson, records show.

Documents detailing the previously undisclosed meeting appear to conflict with remarks by Gonzales at a March 13 news conference in which he portrayed himself as a CEO who had delegated to Sampson responsibility for the particulars of firing eight U.S. attorneys.

The White House would have been better just releasing all the document in the beginning and getting the story off the front page. Instead they gave the finger to Congress and chose to get caught putting false statements in the media. Wiretapping and Abu Ghraib were far more serious offenses. The White House decided to fight Congress over U.S. Attorneys that the President has the right to fire at any time. The purging reeks of corruption and intimidating U.S. Attorneys to take cases for partisan reasons. This was still a story they could have gotten off the front page if their political instincts weren't Nixonian.

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