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Comey, Ashcroft and the Hospital Wiretap Visit

Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Marcy Wheeler live-blogged it over at Firedoglake.

The MSM is reporting on Comey's testimony regarding Alberto Gonzales' and Andrew Cards' 2004 hospital visit to former Attorney General John Ashcroft to get him to sign off on an extension of Bush's warrantless NSA electronic surveillance program.

I covered that extensively here and here in January, 2006, including reporting from the New York Times and Newsweek.

Think Progress has the transcript of today's Comey testimony.

Did Comey add anything today to the story that wasn't previously known? Is it really as shocking as Charles Schumer makes it sound? Or should Schumer have done something about it back in 2006 when the story was widely reported and we were all complaining about it?

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Waas on Gonzales, Bush and the NSA Wiretapping

Murray Waas has a new article in the National Journal, Internal Affairs, in which he reports that the aborted DOJ probe probably would have targeted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

Shortly before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush last year on whether to shut down a Justice Department inquiry regarding the administration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, Gonzales learned that his own conduct would likely be a focus of the investigation, according to government records and interviews.

Had it not been quashed, a Justice Department inquiry into the domestic eavesdropping program would likely have examined the actions of Alberto Gonzales.

Bush personally intervened to sideline the Justice Department probe in April 2006 by taking the unusual step of denying investigators the security clearances necessary for their work.

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