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DOJ to Gonzales: Smooth Move

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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POOR BEDSIDE MANNER Gonzales

Crooks and Liars is reporting on a little-discussed March 2004 Gonzales blunder that nearly cost the Justice Department their entire senior leadership. While musically gifted then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized following an emergency gall bladder operation and reportedly "hallucinating under medication," who but Alberto Gonzales should pay him a visit? Gonzales apparently considered it the perfect time to get Ashcroft to sign a document approving the president's warrantless eavesdropping program. But even in his haze, Ashcroft refused.

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Following news of the goodwill visit, "as many as 30 top DOJ officials" threatened to resign. Given Gonzales's upcoming no-confidence vote, now would be the perfect time for one of his Iran-Contra-esque "I do not recall" lines.

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