While Meet the Press didn't see fit this week to even mention James Comey's jaw-dropping testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week (I guess Shooter didn't give Pumpkinhead the thumb's up), US News has an article on the fallout from Comey's testimony:
If the thinking in the administration was that Gonzales can ride it out," says Steven Dettelbach, a former federal prosecutor and former Democratic staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee, "this is Exhibit A that it could get worse."
Indeed, congressional sources tell U.S. News that Democrats will ask the Texas Bar Association to determine whether Gonzales violated his code of professional responsibility or broke laws by bringing up the NSA program in the hospital in front of Ashcroft's wife, who lacks security clearances. "I am not going to speculate on discussions that may or may not have taken place," Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd responded, "much less attempt to render a legal judgment on any such discussions."
That's certainly an interesting angle.
Such actions have made Comey something of a bete noire in the Bush administration-even though Comey believes that Bush respected him and wanted him to do the right thing. Indeed, now some Democrats, including Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, say they will even back Comey for attorney general if Gonzales resigns. "The only thing worse than being vilified by the left," says Comey with a laugh, "is being idolized by the left."
I agree with Glenn Greenwald, Abu will never resign:
It has seemed highly unlikely all along, and still does, that Bush is going to ever force Gonzales to leave, or that Gonzales will leave on his own. Independent of all the cultural and psychological dynamics that govern Bush's "loyalty" fetishses, the single most important asset Bush has right now is that the prosecutorial machinery is in the clutches of his most craven, obedient and loyal follower.
If Gonzales leaves, then his replacement will have to be confirmed by the Senate, which is highly unlikely to confirm anyone who is too politically loyal to the Bush circle. That means that the only alternative to Gonzales' staying is an independent Justice Department that acts in the interests of justice, rather than Bush's political and personal interests. That is what Bush fears most, and that is why Gonzales will almost certainly stay, unless he is forced out.
And Comey as AG? Well there is that pesky "pleasure of the President" thing that Bush just loves to roll lecherously off his tongue. Considering the fact that there are probably chickens being frantically waved as Commander Codpiece sticks one pin after another into his little Comey effigy just before he takes his afternoon nap, I think that'll happen just after hell freezes over and shortly before pigs fly.
And why hadn't Comey testified before?
Comey told U.S. News he was prepared to testify about the Ashcroft incident for more than three years but never did. Why? "Nobody ever asked," he said. "I've never been in a forum where I was obligated to answer the question. Short of that, it was not something I was going to volunteer."
That would be the great statesman and moderate Arlen Specter who refused to subpoena Comey when the details of the midnight trip to Ashcroft's room came out in January of '06. It doesn't make Comey a hero, but given the vindictive nature of the thugs of BushCo and the fact that Comey has small children it is understandable:
His actions at the hospital, he testified, earned him Card's wrath. Soon after Gonzales became attorney general, his then chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, told Comey that Gonzales's "vision" was to merge the deputy's office with Gonzales's own office. That meant that Comey would have lost some of his autonomy, becoming less of a leader and more of a senior staff member. A source close to Sampson says he merely wanted Gonzales and Comey to operate as a "seamless leadership team," with "harmony rather than conflict," and never meant to "degrade the status or authority" of the deputy. Comey didn't buy it. "You may want to try that with the next deputy attorney general," Comey is said to have responded to Sampson. "But it's not going to work with me."
I'd still like to hear someone ask Comey about the details of his depature from the DoJ and whether, as looseheadprop has speculated, he was indeed the first "purge."
(YouTube h/t Bailey, via AmericaBlog)