The AP reports that Alberto Gonzales’ ex-chief of staff Kyle Sampson plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse some Senate questions when he appears at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.
UPDATE: It’s Goodling, not Sampson. “Monica Goodling, a counsel to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who helped coordinate the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, will invoke her constitutional right not to answer Senate questions about the firings, her lawyer said. … ‘The hostile and questionable environment in the present congressional proceedings is at best ambiguous; more accurately the environment can be described as legally perilous for Ms. Goodling,’ [her lawyer John Dowd] said.”
UPDATE II: For his part, Sampson will stay loyal to Bush and Gonzales in his testimony: “‘Kyle is very much a supporter of the president and the attorney general,’ one friend tells CNN. ‘His main interest is in telling the truth.’ The friend says Sampson would ‘never do anything to hurt any of them’ and doesn’t believe his version of events will do that. Friends say Sampson believes innocent bungling was more to blame for the firestorm over the firings than anything malicious.”
UPDATE III: Atrios notes a reasonable comment from right-wing CNN contributor Terry Jeffrey:
It’s not good, apparently her lawyer is trying to suggest they’re building a perjury trap for people in the Justice Department. But the truth is, Wolf, Congress – its Judiciary Committees – they have oversight over the Justice Department. It is inexcusable for people in the Justice Department to take the 5th amendment to avoid testifying in Congress. People there must go testify. There’s no question about it.