September 2, 2008 / by emptywheel


Gonzales Resigned 17 Days After This IG Investigation Began

I’ll be doing running commentary on today’s DOJ Inspector General’s investigation of how Alberto Gonzales improperly handled Top Secret information. But I didn’t even get through the first page before being struck by the circumstances behind this investigation. Most curiously, Gonzales resigned just days after this investigation began.

The matter was referred to the OIG by Kenneth Wainstein, former Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, on August 10, 2007. The White House Counsel’s Office had initially notified the Department of Justice (Department) about the matter, and Wainstein, after consultation with other senior Department officials, referred the matter to the OIG for investigation.

That is, at a time when Alberto Gonzales was weighing down the Bush Administration, Fred Fielding informed Ken Wainstein that Alberto Gonzales was running around town with a briefcase full of TS/SCI documents. Fielding did so just 20 days after the Administration used Pixie Dust to give Cheney carte blanche to make up his own rules about how to treat classified information. And, more interesting still, it happened just 17 days before a weepy Gonzales resigned on August 27.

Gosh. You’d almost think the Administration, after Bush asked Gonzales specially to take notes of a meeting at which members of Congress collaborated with the Administration in breaking the law, then used those notes against Gonzales, to push him out of the Administration.

And if you’re wondering, Ken Wainstein has since been named Bush’s Homeland Security Advisor. 

Update: typo fixed per bobschacht.

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