The Hill is reporting that Arlen Specter left a White House briefing late Monday, having given the Bush administration 18 hours to resolve the contradictions in Alberto Gonzales’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. His aides released a statement late in the day that indicated something big is in the offing for Tuesday.
“Given the difficulty of discussing classified matters in public, I think it is preferable to have a letter addressing that question [of Gonzales’ veracity] from the administration … by noon tomorrow, which will be made available to the news media,” Specter wrote in the statement. “The administration has committed to producing such a letter.”
Specter expects the letter clarifying the attorney general’s testimony to be addressed to himself and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who declined to comment on the matter.
Specter was equally cagey, telling reporters to wait until Tuesday for any further comment from him.
When asked whether Gonzales should be forced to resign, Specter said any such speculation would be "premature to consider." He said other senators were present for the administration briefing, which was given by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and others, but declined to identify them.
In last week’s testimony, Gonzalez appeared to perjure himself last week when he disputed the testimony of James Comey, Deputy Attorney General under John Ashcroft. Gonzales insisted that the legality of the Bush administrations propensity for and policy of spying on American citizens had never been at issue in the Justice Department.
The bald-faced lying led many Democrats to call for a Special Prosecutor to investigate illegality inside the Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer in the land for perjury. The clamoring of Democrats prompted Specter to request the classified briefing on Monday.
Remember, it was only last Thursday that Specter openly flouted the president on Air Force One, first by mingling with the press corps, and then by dissing the president. Pretty bold. There are only two rules for politicians traveling with the president – don’t mingle with the press corps and don’t trash-talk the pres or his team. Specter broke both “rules.” Before take-off.
[Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose]