Former Justice lawyer 'shocked, appalled' at Gonzales claims
David Edwards and Will Menaker
Published: Friday July 27, 2007


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As yet another high ranking government official, this time FBI Director Robert Mueller, contradicts the sworn testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Thursday's Anderson Copper 360 featured CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin discussing the latest revelations surrounding the possible perjury committed by Alberto Gonzales.

When asked by Cooper what to make of the FBI director contradicting the Attorney General, Toobin was almost dumbfounded, saying, "it's our job to be jaded, and not to be shocked, but I'm shocked."

"This is such an appalling set of circumstances," Toobin continued, that the Justice Department would be led by a man, "so repudiated by members of both parties is frankly, just shocking."

Toobin easily explained the byzantine nature of the scandal. He points out that when Gonzales was first asked, under oath, whether there was any controversy in the Justice Department over the warrantless wiretapping program, he said no.

Yet months later, when former deputy Attorney General James Comey testified, he told of Gonzales' infamous visit to the hospital bed of then-AG John Ashcroft, to try and get him to sign off on a program that acting AG Comey and many in the Justice Department found so illegal that they threatened to resign.

When confronted with this contradiction, Gonzales claimed there were in fact two different programs that were being discussed, one controversial, the other not. Yesterday's testimony by Robert Mueller contradicted that claim, as the FBI director said that there was only one program in question: warrantless wiretapping.

The White House has defended Gonzales by claiming that because of the classified nature of the information, they are prevented from fully explaining the widespread discrepancies in Gonzales' "confusing" testimony. Toobin stated that while one does have to be careful with classified information, that "Mueller didn't seem confused. No one seems confused, except Alberto Gonzales."

The following video is from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, broadcast on July 26.