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Bush's Monica Problem


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It is compelling reading.

For weeks, Washington awaited the testimony of Monica Goodling, who was described as the administration's enforcer of political purity inside the Justice Department.

Goodling's testimony last week was a soft sell. She did not seem like a cold-blooded commissar. On her Regent Law School Web site (class of '99), she comes across as sweetly naive, hoping to make the world "a better place" and urging everyone to "smile." Under oath (and given immunity from prosecution), she seemed shy and a little overwhelmed, more Rosemary Woods than Madame Defarge, although she never got rattled or resorted to histrionics. Wringing her hands beneath the witness table, she acknowledged that she may have improperly used political considerations to choose career prosecutors. "I crossed the line," she said, taking a deep breath, a Christian girl who succumbed to temptation. Carefully prepared by a shrewd lawyer, John Dowd, she suggested, almost in passing, that Gonzales may have crossed another line by discussing with her his account of how the U.S. attorneys were fired. The implication was that Gonzales had been subtly trying to coach her testimony. "I just thought maybe we shouldn't have that conversation," she said.

If Goodling's testimony helps to bring down Gonzales, a distinct possibility, President Bush will be exposed to more questions and dragged into a messy confirmation battle over Gonzales's successor.


Read the story of how they tried to get Ashcroft to sign something while he was deathly ill in the hospital. Wow.

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