How did Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) know to ask Monica Goodling about her “uncomfortable” — and potentially illegal — conversation with Alberto Gonzales? “Her lawyer told him to ask, that’s how.” After today’s hearing, Davis told reporters that there were “informal conversations” with staff and Goodling attorney John Dowd about the line of questioning.
This is a critical point because, in many respects, the questions about the mid-March conversation between Gonzales and Goodling are the most damning revelations today, certainly the freshest new allegations to emerge. And, in the final minutes of the hearing, Davis read verbatim from the transcript of Gonzales when he appeared before the same panel May 10.
During that hearing, the attorney general cited ongoing investigations internally at Justice and on Capitol Hill as the reason why he uttered so many “I don’t recall/I don’t know” answers, because he was unable to speak with his top aides about their recollections.
“I have not gone back and spoken directly with Mr. Sampson and others who are involved in this process in order to protect the integrity of this investigation and the investigation of the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of Inspector General,” Gonzales testified under oath May 10. “I am a fact witness. They are fact witnesses.”