In the nearly six weeks since his close friend and former chief of staff was convicted of lying and obstructing an investigation, Vice President Dick Cheney has not once spoken to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
“Well, there hasn’t been occasion to do so,” Cheney said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, fighting to save his job, said in prepared Senate testimony Sunday he has “nothing to hide” in the firings of eight federal prosecutors but claimed a hazy memory about his involvement in them.
President George W. Bush is preparing for a new week of tough political battles with his Democratic opponents amid an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion.
On Tuesday, Democrats will have a politically charged meeting with key Bush ally Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to hear his explanation about the firings of eight federal prosecutors, who they suspect fell victim to a White House-managed purge.
The Bush administration asked Congress Friday to allow monitoring of more foreigners in the United States during intelligence investigations.
The plan is one of several proposed changes, which have been in the works for more than a year, that go to the heart of a key U.S. surveillance law.
The administration says the changes are intended to help the government better address national security threats by updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bring it into line with rapid changes in communications technology.
The Justice Department weighed political activism and membership in a conservative law group in evaluating the nation’s federal prosecutors, documents released in the probe of fired U.S. attorney show.
The political credentials were listed on a chart of all 124 U.S. attorneys nominated since 2001, a document that could bolster Democrats’ claims that the traditionally independent Justice Department has become more partisan during the Bush administration.
White House political adviser Karl Rove was embroiled in a new controversy over potentially missing e-mails on Friday, the latest twist in the firings of eight U.S. prosecutors last year.
The White House disclosed that the Republican National Committee in early 2006 took away Rove’s ability to delete e-mails sent and received through a party e-mail account.
One would think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would have already thrown in the towel. His two top staff members have resigned and Congress is demanding more documents from him, and his anticipated testimony before a Senate hearing is expected to produce fireworks.
So, what makes him tick? What’s back there?
Yet another leak out of the White House: President Bush has quietly been searching for what could be called, for lack of a better term, a “war czar” to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That official would have the title assistant to the president, report directly to Bush and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and have the authority to issue instructions to the departments of Defense and State and other agencies.
When President Bush invited Democratic leaders for a sit-down on Iraq, it seemed to offer the opportunity for a breakthrough in their bitter differences over the war. For about five seconds. Then the White House spent the rest of Tuesday explaining what the meeting would not be.
It is not a chance to compromise, the administration insists. Bush isn’t budging from what kind of war-spending bill he can accept.
President Bush’s spy chief is pushing to expand the government’s surveillance authority at the same time the administration is under attack for stretching its domestic eavesdropping powers.
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell (left) has circulated a draft bill that would expand the government’s powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, liberalizing how that law can be used.