Gonzales Follow-Up

The official report from Inspector General Fine has been posted to the Office of the Inspector General’s Website (PDF).  It contains little nuggets like:

During the OIG’s intial interview with Gonzales, we asked him whether he took the notes home with him that evening.  Gonzales said he did not recall.  However, he also said that if he did not have the ability to store the notes in the safe outside his OAG office that evening, he would have taken the notes home “of necessity.”  Gonzales said that if he took the notes home, he would have left the notes in his briefcase in his office at his residence, adding that he did not recall if he had a safe in his residence at that time.  Gonzales said that the briefcase in which he would have kept the notes had a lock, but that he did not always use the lock.

Subsequent to our intial interview with Gonzales, and as described above, the OIG learned that Gonzales did have a safe in his Vienna residence but that in early March 2005 Department officials became aware that Gonzales could not open it.  We we informed Gonzales of these facts in a subsequent interview, Gonzales stated that he had no specific recollection of ever using the safe in his Vienna residence.  We asked him whether these facts concerning the safe in his Vienna residence changed his recollection of how he handled the notes on February 3, 2005, and he said they did not.  (Page 12) 

The White House attorneys’ notes further state: “AG has taken them out of safe; he thinks he may have taken them home to look at and probably kept in safe at home.” (Page 19)

In January of 2005, after I had sent an email to one of my senators, John Cornyn, asking him not to vote for Gonzales to be Attorney General, he responded by telling me that Mr. Gonzales “combines stellar legal credentials with an inspiring American success story,” and that he “strongly support[ed] his nomination to America’s chief law enforcement post.”  More than two years later, when Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the US Attorney foo-frah, Cornyn had changed his tune, albeit, only a little:  “General Gonzales, you and I have known each other a long time, and I believe that you are a good and decent man. But I have to tell you that the way that this investigation has been handled is just been — been really deplorable.”