RUSH: The witch hunt is on for Alberto Gonzales. Democrats have demanded a special counsel, an independent prosecutor to look into whether or not Alberto Gonzales committed perjury in his testimony before a Senate committee on the firings of eight US attorneys. Here are some sound bites. First from Senator Chuck Schumer this morning during a press conference.
SCHUMER: Earlier this week Attorney General Gonzales testified before the Judiciary Committee, and his inability to answer simple and straightforward questions was just stunning. The attorney general took an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Instead, he tells the half-truth, the partial truth, and everything but the truth, and he does it not once, and not twice, but over and over and over again. His instinct is not to tell the truth, but to dissemble and deceive.
RUSH: As I said yesterday, it’s the Democrats in Congress that are out of control. They say Bush is violating all these personal rights and so forth. It’s the Congress that’s out of control. This is just over the top from securing defeat in Iraq to hassling the administration with all these investigations, the shortage of subpoena forms. Here’s more from Schumer.
SCHUMER: We had all hoped that it wouldn’t come to this.
RUSH: Oh, yeah, right, right.
SCHUMER: We simply cannot let this abuse of power continue unchecked.
RUSH: The only thing missing there is the tear rolling down the cheek. ‘Oh, we all hoped it wouldn’t come to this, and we simply cannot let this abuse of power continue.’ George W. Bush can fire anybody he wants. There is no crime. Once again, the Democrats are trying to set up a Scooter Libby process crime here by bringing Gonzales up and asking him all these questions over and over again. Here is John Conyers. This is yesterday during a Judiciary Committee hearing on the US attorney firings. Conyers had this to say about the chief of staff of the White House, Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers ignoring his committee’s subpoenas.
CONYERS: Where our subpoenas can be readily ignored, where a witness under a duly authorized subpoena doesn’t ever have to bother to show up, where privilege can be asserted on the thinnest basis and on the broadest possible manner, then we’ve already lost.
RUSH: Lost what? You’ve lost your attempt here to embarrass these people? What have we lost here? Harriet Miers doesn’t have to say a word to anybody. She’s the president’s lawyer. Lawyer-client privilege anybody? Josh Bolten, same thing, chief of staff. As I say, we linked to the best piece on this executive privilege claim that the White House has made for these two people, by John Yoo. It was in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago, some day earlier this week. As far as what I’ve read, it’s a definitive piece on who’s in the right here. So yesterday during the White House press briefing, Tony Snow took a question about the contempt of Congress charges against Miers and Josh Bolten. Here’s a portion of what he said.
SNOW: In our view this is pathetic. What you have right now is partisanship on Capitol Hill that quite often boils down to insults, insinuations, inquisitions and investigations, rather than pursuing the normal business of trying to pass major pieces of legislation such as appropriations bills and to try to work in such a way as to demonstrate to the American people that Congress and the White House can work together.
RUSH: But apparently it didn’t work, and it’s not working. Here’s more from Tony Snow.
SNOW: As I said, we maintain our position of accommodation toward the House of Representatives. But make no mistake. Based on legal precedent, this is something that the drafters of this particular referral know has very little chance of going anywhere, and so the question is, ‘Why are they doing this rather than the people’s business?’
RUSH: Precisely. It has no chance of going anywhere. They’re going to lose this. This can be dragged out for 18 months anyway, the legal fight with paperwork and motions and all this sort of stuff. They know it’s not going to go anywhere, so why are they doing it, rather than the people’s business? Frankly, I’m sort of glad they’re doing this, I hate that Bush and his buddies are taking a hit on this but the more they do this kind of stuff, the less damage they can do with their kind of legislation. One of the reasons they’re not doing any legislation, they can’t get anything passed. Minimum wage bill, they threw a party for it yesterday, yip yip yip yip yahoo but they can’t get anything done. They can’t get their war resolutions passed, they can’t de-fund, can’t do diddly-squat, folks. Couldn’t do anything on immigration. The Democrats are stuck in a 1968 mentality. There’s something else that Tony Snow said.
This was in his opening statement. ‘More than 300 executive branch investigations or inquiries, 400 requests for documents, interviews, or testimony. We’ve had more than 550 officials testify. We’ve had more than 600 oversight hearings, 87,000-plus hours spent responding to oversight requests from Congress. And 430,000 pages made available to Congress for oversight. That’s pretty significant. In fact, the 87,000 hours that we mentioned that have been used in document production, that’s equal to more than nine and a half years.’ And here’s your graphic of the day, ladies and gentlemen. ‘If you took those 430,000 pages, stack ’em on top of each other, they would reach a height twice that of the executive mansion itself.’ He was trying to illustrate how cooperative they’ve been, how much time they’ve had to spend responding, the 87,000 man-hours, to all of these requests and demands that Congress has made. And despite all that, nothing has come from these hearings except a waste of time and a lack of legislation, which is, as I say, is a good thing.
This is nothing more than pure harassment. It’s the attempt on the part of Democrats in the House and the Senate to continue this program of theirs, their plan to make the Bush administration and thus all Republicans appear to be totally corrupt. It’s right out of the old playbook. They’re trying to make Watergate all over. They’re attempting to go back and end the war as though it were Vietnam and get rid of this administration as though it is Nixon. Now, speaking of Nixon, if you want to see something Nixonian going on, take a look at the governor of New York, Elliott Spitzer. His staff members organized a hit on Republican Senate leader, Joseph Bruno, totally manufacturing evidence, totally making it up. Spitzer said he didn’t know about it, but it’s Nixonian, and it’s a Democrat doing it, the governor of New York, and even his own attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, issued a blistering report saying that this is unconscionable what has come out of the governor’s office on this. So once again it’s projection, the Democrats accusing Republicans and Bush of doing what they actually do.
Something else in this. Henry Waxman, who heads oversight in the House, he has been plotting this revenge ever since the Clinton administration and all of the investigations by Dan Burton. Dan Burton from Indiana, used to run the committee that Henry Waxman now heads up, and Burton was demanding evidence and e-mails from the White House on illegal foreign campaign contributions, i.e., from ChiComs. Henry Waxman has been plotting ever since this happened, when he got his committee chairmanship back, when the House was procured once again by the Democrats, he’s been plotting this kind of strategery and behavior, and he’s in the middle of executing it now. So this is liberal payback. You don’t do this to us. You don’t challenge our power. You don’t challenge our authority. If you do, we’ll pay you back the next minute we get. That’s precisely what’s happening with not a whole lot of progress. A couple more sound bites. Let’s go to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Tuesday, and Schumer was questioning Gonzales, the attorney general. Here’s a portion of their exchange.
GONZALES: This Disagreement on the tenth was about other intelligence activities.
SCHUMER: Not about the TSP? Yes or no?
GONZALES: The disagreement — the reason we had to go to the hospital had to do with other intelligence activities.
SCHUMER: Was it about the TSP? Yes or no, please. That’s vital to whether you’re telling the truth to this committee.
GONZALES: It was about other intelligence activities.
RUSH: This is when Ashcroft was in the hospital. They went up there and tried to get authorization for him to sign something. Schumer then had a retort. John Roberts this morning on CNN said, ‘So did Gonzales lie to you?’
SCHUMER: Well, it’s looking like that, it sure is, and unfortunately, this isn’t the only time that this has happened. In his testimony there are so many instances where he doesn’t tell the truth to the committee and then says, ‘Well,’ he sends in a correction later, or tries to parse it in a different way. But he is just not being straight with this committee terms telling the truth. And we are frustrated as could be. John, I have been in Washington 27 years, and I have never seen anything like this.
RUSH: Spare me. Been in Washington 27 years, and you’ve never seen anything like this? This is nothing!
RUSH: Senator Pat Leaky Leahy has issued a subpoena for Karl Rove now, for him to testify about the firing of several US attorneys. ‘Leahy said the evidence shows that senior White House political operatives are focused on the political impact of federal prosecutions and whether federal prosecutors are doing enough to bring partisan voter fraud and corruption cases…’ There is no crime here, ladies and gentlemen. The president, these US attorneys serve at his pleasure. That’s exactly right. There is no way a court is going to rule against executive privilege. Well, depending on the judge. If it’s a liberal judge, depends on how much payback the liberal judge wants to exact for what happened. You know these people put their personal policy preferences over the law a lot of times. All things being normal, in a normal political environment, if there’s such a thing, there’s no judge that would find for Congress in this executive privilege fight, no way whatsoever. I want to try to put this in a little bit different perspective. Even as the Democrats are playing politics by accusing Bush of playing politics, who’s really playing politics? It’s the Democrats. This is a total political game, accusing Bush of doing it.
We sit here and watch the low-class lynching of the attorney general, and you ask the question, is this an attack or a defense? Is this a diss or is it a tribute? For example, if I were to tell you Alberto Gonzales is no Janet Reno, does that insult him or praise him? Well, in my mind it praises him. Does that give his persecutors a reality check? I don’t think so, but I mean you want to draw a comparison between Gonzales and Janet Reno, talk about somebody who is just there as a figurehead — underlings were actually doing the work. She was appointed for all the obvious reasons. How about this. One of the underlings working for Janet Reno was Web Hubbell. We could say Alberto Gonzales is no Web Hubbell. Is that an insult to Gonzales or is it praise? I think it’s praise. You could say Alberto Gonzales is no Ramsey Clark, former attorney general in the Kennedy years. Or maybe Johnson years, I don’t know, but the fact is, is this an insult or a praise of Alberto Gonzales? And how about this: Alberto Gonzales is no Bobby Kennedy. ‘Rush, how dare you! What do you mean?’ Well, Alberto Gonzales never ordered wiretaps of Martin Luther King or of the Reverend Jackson or Al Sharpton. So here’s how it all works, folks. Alberto Gonzales, Republican, is bad. Janet Reno, Democrat, Web Hubbell, Democrat, Ramsey Clark, Democrat, Bobby Kennedy, Democrat, all great. They brought honor and prestige to the office. And that is how it works.