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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

James Comey: Ashcroft and FBI director Mueller threatened to resign over NSA wiretapping

David Johnston the New York Times reports this significant and sordid tale from yesterday's testimony by former acting Attorney General, James Comey.

It's hard to read this account of Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card seeking, perhaps in violation of the law, the signature of an ill and disoriented John Ashcroft without a sense of repugnance at the tawdriness to which the Bush Administration stooped. This is a tawdriness beyond tawdriness; seeking the signature of a sick man to approve an illegal program that spied on American citizens.

However, as Comey testified, it went further:

Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card quickly departed [the hospital where John Ashcroft lay ill], but Mr. Comey said he soon got an angry phone call from Mr. Card, demanding that he come to the White House. Mr. Comey said he replied: “After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States.”

Mr. Comey said he reached Theodore B. Olson, the solicitor general, at a dinner party. At the White House session, which included Mr. Olson, Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Comey and Mr. Card, the four officials discussed the impasse. Mr. Comey knew that other top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, wanted to continue the program.

Mr. Card expressed concern about mass resignations at the Justice Department, Mr. Comey said. He told the Senate panel that he prepared a letter of resignation and that David Ayres, Mr. Ashcroft’s chief of staff, asked him to delay delivering it so that Mr. Ashcroft could join him. Mr. Comey said Mr. Mueller was also prepared to quit.


The Director of the FBI, the Attorney General and the acting Attorney General all intended to resign over the administration's effort to proceed without authorization for the NSA warrantless wiretapping program after Alberto Gonzales and the President's Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried and failed to get an ailing Attorney General to sign off on it.

{Video of the testimony.}


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1 Comments:

  • brbvsuThis directly involves the President and VP, Gonzalez must resign. Andrew Card should be ordered to testify berofe congress...this is far worse than watergate this is unconstitutional and they knew it, that is why they tried to get the signature while Ashcroft was sick. This is beyond Democrat/Republican, even Republicans Ashcroft and Comey knew this was wrong! By the way Bill Clinton would be hanged in public if he did this!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 PM  

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