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President "What, Me Lie?" just took a credibility hit this morning.  Via Josh (with a huge H/T to Muck commenter Donp who spotted the gap at 2:19 am!):

I think a commenter in our document dump research thread may have been the first to notice that the emails released by the Justice Department seem to have a gap between November 15th and December 4th of last year….

The firing calls went out on December 7th. But the original plan was to start placing the calls on November 15th. So those eighteen days are pretty key ones.   (emphasis mine)

What are you trying to hide, President Bush?  You think that Karl Rove's little political manipulation dance goes unnoticed by everyone?  That you can simply dump a bunch of documents and that no one will bother to read them?  The days of Congress and the public not paying attention and the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress are long gone.  It is time that that the Bush Administration adjusted to the new reality:  accountability and oversight.  So let the sun shine in.

Accept no substitutes:  Testimony.  In public.  Under oath. 

As Glenn says:

First, the President began his Press Conference by admitting that the administration's explanations as to what happened here have been — to use his own words — "confusing" and "incomplete." Why, then, would Congress possibly trust Bush officials to provide more explanations in an off-the-record, no-transcript setting where there are no legal consequences from failing to tell the truth?

Once a party demonstrates a propensity to issue false explanations and refuses to tell the truth voluntarily, no rational person would trust that party to make voluntary disclosures. One could trust (if at all) only on-the-record testimony, under oath, where there are criminal penalties for lying (if they have questions about that motivational dynamic, they can ask Lewis Libby).  (emphasis mine)

The Bush Administration has shown, time and time again, that they cannot be trusted to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why on earth would Congress trust them on the US Attorney firings? Especially after they left an 18 day gap in the records turnover from the DoJ during a crucial period in the decisionmaking process for the firings?

Let's hit the phones, gang.    Call the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-459-1887 or 1-202-224-3121, and ask to speak to the offices of Sen. Pat Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to tell them:

Accept no substitutes:  Testimony.  In public.  Under oath. 

It is high time for some public accountability. Let Sen. Leahy and Rep. Conyers know that we stand behind them all the way in exercising their constitutional obligation of oversight. 

While you are at it, if you have time to contact the members of both committees to voice your concerns and your outrage over the Bush Administration's attempt to hide these eighteen days worth of e-mail, here are the committee rosters:

House Judiciary Committee:

Democrat
Hon. Berman
(D) California, 28th
 
Hon. Boucher
(D) Virginia, 9th
 
Hon. Nadler
(D) New York, 8th
 
Hon. Scott
(D) Virginia, 3rd
 
Hon. Watt
(D) North Carolina, 12th
 
Hon. Lofgren
(D) California, 16th
 
Hon. Jackson Lee
(D) Texas, 18th
 
Hon. Waters
(D) California, 35th
 
Hon. Meehan
(D) Massachusetts, 5th
 
Hon. Delahunt
(D) Massachusetts, 10th
 
Hon. Wexler
(D) Florida, 19th
 
Hon. Sánchez
(D) California, 39th
 
Hon. Cohen
(D) Tennessee, 9th
 
Hon. Johnson
(D) Georgia, 4th
 
Hon. Gutierrez
(D) Illinois, 4th
 
Hon. Sherman
(D) California, 27
 
Hon. Weiner
(D) New York, 9th
 
Hon. Schiff
(D) California, 29th
 
Hon. Davis
(D) Alabama , 7th
 
Hon. Wasserman Schultz
(D) Florida, 20th
 
Hon. Ellison
(D) Minnesota, 5th
 
 
 
 
Republican
Hon. Sensenbrenner Jr.
(R) Wisconsin, 5th
 
Hon. Coble
(R) North Carolina, 6th
 
Hon. Gallegly
(R) California, 24th
 
Hon. Goodlatte
(R) Virginia, 6th
 
Hon. Chabot
(R) Ohio, 1st
 
Hon. Lungren
(R) California, 3rd
 
Hon. Cannon
(R) Utah, 3rd
 
Hon. Keller
(R) Florida, 8th
 
Hon. Issa
(R) California, 49th
 
Hon. Pence
(R) Indiana, 6th
 
Hon. Forbes
(R) Virginia, 4th
 
Hon. King
(R) Iowa, 5th
 
Hon. Feeney
(R) Florida, 24th
 
Hon. Franks
(R) Arizona, 2nd
 
Hon. Gohmert
(R) Texas, 1st
 
Hon. Jordan
(R) Ohio, 4th
 

Senate Judiciary Committee:

Patrick J. Leahy
CHAIRMAN, D-VERMONT


Edward M. Kennedy
D-MASSACHUSETTS
Arlen Specter
RANKING MEMBER, R-PENNSYLVANIA
Herb Kohl
D-WISCONSIN
Dianne Feinstein
D-CALIFORNIA
Jon Kyl
R-ARIZONA
Jeff Sessions
R-ALABAMA
Lindsey Graham
R-SOUTH CAROLINA
John Cornyn
R-TEXAS
Sam Brownback
R-KANSAS
Sheldon Whitehouse
D-RHODE ISLAND
Tom Coburn
R-OKLAHOMA

If any of the above members is one of your elected representatives, please do take some time to call their office and voice your concerns about the US Attorney firings, the fact that the Bush Administration appear to be — yet again — trying to conceal information about potential wrongdoing, and that nothing less than a full and complete PUBLIC airing of all of this will do. 

Accept no substitutes:  Testimony.  In public.  Under oath. 

Both committees will be making decisions about issuing subpoenas.  Let's show them that we would like to see some serious Congressional spine on this issue.   While you are at it, ask your elected representative when we might expect the White House and the Department of Justice to turn over those 18 days worth of e-mails.  Public accountability is important — and the rule of law must be respected and upheld.  Period.

(And in case the Rose Mary Woods reference at the top isn't ringing a bell, you may recall that the Nixon tapes had an 18 1/2 minute gap.)