Murray Waas has a breaking story in the Atlantic with more details about that frightening hospital visit to Ashcroft, where the entire top tier of DoJ stood ready to resign.

Marcy’s new Timeline here

According to people familiar with statements recently made by Gonzales to federal investigators, Gonzales is now saying that George Bush personally directed him to make that hospital visit.

[snip]

Gonzales has also told Justice Department investigators that President Bush played a more central and active role than was previously known in devising a strategy to have Congress enable the continuation of the surveillance program when questions about its legality were raised by the Justice Department, as well as devising other ways to circumvent the Justice Department’s legal concerns about the program, according to people who have read Gonzales’s interviews with investigators.

So, is it bad? What is the White House’s reaction?

One scenario feared by the White House is that the IG or OPR could send a public report to Congress concluding that Gonzales or some other official may have committed a crime. At a minimum, that would make the conduct of Gonzales, or of any other official deemed to be under suspicion, the subject of a criminal investigation.

If the report also raised unanswered questions about possible misconduct by other senior administration officials, or even the president, that could lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Good times, good times.

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