Hey, Scottish Haggis!?!?!? What happened to that letter from the White House you promised us?
According to RawStory, it's still in the mail. Or maybe it's not coming after all.
The White House has refused to comply with a Republican senator's request for information about Alberto Gonzales's conflicting testimony on a secret surveillance program by a 12 p.m. Tuesday deadline.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said yesterday that he requested from the Bush administration a "letter addressing that question [of Gonzales' veracity] from the administration" by noon Tuesday. He promised to release the letter to the media, but so far the word from Judiciary Committee staff is that no letter has arrived.
It is unclear whether the administration is refusing Specter's request outright or is simply tardy in delivering its response. A spokeswoman for Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee chairman who also is expected to receive the administration's response, told RAW STORY early Tuesday afternoon that no letter had arrived yet.
Specter's office was releasing little information Tuesday.
Your guess is as good as mine what happened to Specter's love letter. Some possibilities:
- Dick heard about the promised letter and stole all of Bush's crayons
- With Mike Gerson gone, the White House can't think of a new fancy acronym--Not-TSP--that they can use to parse wildly some more
- The White House forgot that there was a still-unresolved anthrax attack on the Senate, and so mail takes a while to get to Senators
- The White House has decided to call Scottish Haggis' bluff--they're going to blow him off entirely, because they strongly suspect (with good reason) that he's just not going to do anything to stop them
- The White House is trying to postpone sending the letter--which may well admit to having broken the law--until after Congress passes some changes to FISA
Update: While we're waiting, TP has the transcript from the briefing today, in which Tony said the letter would be coming from DOJ.
QUESTION: Tony, has a letter gone to the Hill, specifically to Senator Specter, concerning Alberto Gonzales?
SNOW: No. There will be something going up to the Hill. It will be a little bit later. It’s not quite meeting the noon deadline. But he in fact will get a response today.
First, we thank Senator Specter. He agreed to get himself read into the program yesterday. He received a briefing and he had some questions. And those questions are going to be answered. They’ll be answered in the course of the day. But they have not yet been provided. We expect within the next few hours that he’ll have a full response.
QUESTION: Tony, following on that, Senator Specter put out this statement saying that the letter would be available to the news media, it would address the questions about the attorney general testifying accurately.
You had an interesting time trying to parse the different language the other day when we pressed about it. How will this letter…
SNOW: I will let the documents speak for themselves and he’ll have an opportunity.
QUESTION: Who put it together?
SNOW: Again, at this point — it’s not coming out of the White House.
QUESTION: To clarify this letter, you say it’s not coming from White House. It’s coming from the Justice Department?
SNOW: They will hear — he will hear from the Justice Department. [my emphasis]
That's nice. Bush still trusts Gonzales. But he's not willing to go on the record--in his own name--to dig him out of his pit of perjury. I frankly don't see how anything coming from DOJ--who will sign it, after all--will be regarded with any credibility.