Gonzalez testimony on Iglesias firing

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From TPM Muckraker:

Gonzales could not recall details about his conversation with Karl Rove about voter fraud, although he testified that he did have such a conversation. He said that it covered three jurisdictions — New Mexico, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. He could not recall when or where or how it had occurred, only that it was in the fall of 2006.

He pinpointed the date of his conversation with President Bush about those same three jurisdictions as happening on October 11.

He also revealed that, when he spoke with Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) in the fall of 2005 about David Iglesias, that Domenici said that Iglesias “was in over his head.” Domenici was concerned that Iglesias didn’t have personnel for public corruption cases. Domenici never requested that Iglesias be removed, Gonzales said — he just questioned whether Iglesias was capable.

When pressed by Leahy, Gonzales could not say precisely why Iglesias was fired, nor when Iglesias’ name appeared on the list.

Heath Haussamen has more at his place:

His statements shed some light on the timeline related to Iglesias’ firing. U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., called Iglesias on Oct. 16. Iglesias alleges Wilson inquired about potential sealed indictments in the Bernalillo County Metro Courthouse investigation and pressured him to issue indictments. Wilson admits the call but says she didn’t ask about sealed indictments or pressure Iglesias.

Gonzales says the next day is the first potential day Iglesias was added to the firing list. Then Domenici called Iglesias about the case on Oct. 27. Iglesias alleges the senator also pressured him on indictments, but Domenici says that isn’t true.

UPDATE — 10:32 am: Glenn Greenwald has some interesting observations on the testimony:

…the reason some Congressional Republicans beyond this Committee have called for Gonzales’ resignation, is not because they suddenly decided that it is important that the Justice Department act ethically or that lying to Congress is a bad thing. Instead, it is because they have long disliked Gonzales because they perceive that he has been insufficiently aggressive in enforcing immigration laws — they see him as a symbol of all that they dislike in what they perceive to be the Bush administration’s lax enforcement efforts. Some of them are dissatisfied because they perceive he has been insufficiently aggressive in enforcing pornography laws.

Republican hostility towards Gonzales and even calls for his resignation are, in most (though not all) cases, motivated by pre-existing dissatisfaction that has nothing to do with the scandal in question. That is one of the ironies here — that a Republican administration that never wanted aggressive enforcement of immigraiton laws (and therefore defended its U.S. attorneys from complaints voiced by Congressional Republicans about lax enforcement) is now attempting to pretend that it fired some of these U.S. attorneys because they did not enforce the immigration laws aggressively enough.

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