|Page 3 of 3 <|
FBI Chief Contradicts Gonzales Testimony
Roehrkasse also suggested the newly revealed intelligence operation was discussed with lawmakers at a March 10, 2004, briefing in the White House Situation Room, along with a discussion of the terrorist surveillance program.
Democrats said there were other examples of Gonzales "lying" that merited a probe by a special prosecutor.
They included the attorney general's sworn testimony that he had not spoken about the firings with other witnesses because the matter was under investigation.
His former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, testified under a grant of immunity that Gonzales had privately recounted his recollections of the firings and asked for her opinion on his version.
"There's no wiggle room," Schumer said. "Those are not misleading. Those are deceiving. Those are lying."
Not signing the letter to Clement was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who instead sent a letter to Gonzales Thursday giving him a week to resolve any inconsistencies in his testimony.
"The burden is on him to clear up the contradictions," Leahy said.
Ranking Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania agreed, calling the call for a special counsel premature, and he took particular aim at Schumer, who has led the probe into the firing.
"Senator Schumer's not interested in looking at the record, he's interested in throwing down the gauntlet and making a story in tomorrow's newspapers," Specter said.
Meanwhile, Leahy subpoenaed Rove, the architect of Bush's rise to the White House and his top political adviser, to provide testimony and documents related to the firings by Aug. 2. Also subpoenaed is a White House political aide, J. Scott Jennings. The Justice Department included both men on e-mails about the firings and the administration's response to the congressional investigation.
White House Counsel Fred Fielding has consistently said that top presidential aides _ present and past _ are immune from subpoenas and has declared the documents sought off-limits under executive privilege.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt citation against two other Bush confidants, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. The full House is expected to vote on the citation in the fall, but the Justice Department has said it won't prosecute the two.
Associated Press writers Ben Feller in Washington and Brendan Riley in Carson City, Nev., contributed to this report.