Gonzales KNEW Ashcroft Was Too Sick to Reauthorize the Program–But Asked Him To Anyway
Back when he was testifying before Congress, Alberto Gonzales played dumb about whether or not he knew John Ashcroft was too sick to sign the reauthorization for the warrantlesss wiretap program. But the IG Report makes it clear he was well aware Ashcroft couldn’t sign it.
On March 9, Gonzales admitted publicly that Ashcroft couldn’t sign the reauthorization.
Gonzales reasoned that Ashcroft, who was still hospitalized, was not in any condition to sign a renewal of the Authorization, and that a "30-day bridge" would move the situation to a point where Ashcroft would be well enough to approve the program.
But on March 10, here’s what happened.
Gonzales told the DOJ OIG that he carried with him in a manila envelope the March 11, 2004, Presidential Authorization for Ashcroft to sign. According to Philbin, Gonzales first asked Ashcroft how he was feeling and Ashcroft replied, "Not well." Gonzales thetn said words to the effect, "You know, there’s a reauthorization that has to be renewed…"
I know none of you had any doubt that Gonzales knew full well Ashcroft shouldn’t sign that reauthorization. But if you needed proof, now you’ve got it.