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Mueller contradicts Gonzales
Published: Thursday July 26, 2007

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In direct contrast to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' testimony yesterday, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress today the confrontation in then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room in 2004 was over the controversial surveillance program.

Yesterday, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath, Gonzales testified he had visited the ill Ashcroft in the hospital about "other intelligence activities," not the controversial surveillance program.


Mueller said he spoke with Ashcroft soon after Gonzales left the hospital and was told the meeting dealt with "an NSA [National Security Agency] program that has been much discussed, yes."

Mueller made the comment as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee.

Mueller also testified Thursday that he had serious reservations about the program, which allowed surveillance without warrants, at the time of the dramatic internal administration showdown and threats of top-level resignations.

Mueller did not confirm he had threatened to resign, but he twice said he supported the testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who testified that Gonzales and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried to pressure Ashcroft to reauthorize a surveillance program against terror suspects.

Mueller for the first time publicly confirmed he dispatched -- as Comey testified -- an FBI security detail to Ashcroft's hospital room to ensure that Comey was not removed from the room when Gonzales was there.

Full CNN story here.