The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program, according to congressional and administration sources.
Administration officials and congressional staffers say Ashcroft will have difficulty finding a reason to refuse to talk about it at this point—especially in closed-door hearings, given that Comey has already publicly recounted the dispute. Although Ashcroft is a private citizen, Justice officials expect that he will likely seek their guidance on how far he can go in discussing the issue. A meeting has been scheduled for this Monday by Senate Intelligence Committee aides and Justice Department officials to discuss the “contours” of the testimony, one official said. If Ashcroft declined to cooperate, the committees could ultimately issue subpoenas.
Comey wasn't positive whether Bush himself had called Mrs. Ashcroft and asked that the thuggish Gonzales and Card be let into her husband's room to "wish him well." Enquiring minds want to know.