Jul 24, 2005

Gonzales Burns Down White House?

July 24, 2005 -- WASHINGTON (apj.us) -- Alberto Gonzales has just thrown a truckload of gasoline on the Treasongate fire.

This morning, on CBS Face the Nation, in response to a question from host Bob Schieffer about today's NY Times op-ed by Frank Rich that focuses on the 12-hour "gap" between Gonzales being notified of a DOJ probe of the leak of Valerie Plame's name to Bob Novak and officially notifying the White House, Gonzales added a single, volatile detail to the timeline that is certain to have the entire West Wing treading flop sweat.

Here's what we knew:

-- September 26, 2003: At the request of then-CIA Director George J. Tenet, the Justice Department begins the process of investigating an allegation that administration officials leaked the identity of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist.

-- September 29, 2003: At about 8:30PM, the Justice Department asks then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to preserve all evidence relevant to the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, but grants Gonzales an additional overnight delay -- a privilege that defies both common sense and standard DOJ investigative procedures.

-- September 30, 2003: Gonzales notifies the president early that morning; DOJ officially launches full their criminal investigation into the leak and requires White House to preserve all relevant evidence.

Gonzales told Schieffer that after the DOJ had notified him of the probe on the night of the 29th, he told White House Chief of Staff Andy Card that night. You can find more details of Gonzales' appearance at E&P and later today in Pundit Pap.

As The Raw Story is fond of saying, "developing hard."

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