FBI Chief Refutes Gonzales

Mueller's notes call hospitalized Ashcroft 'barely articulate'
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 17, 2007 12:11 PM CDT
Excerpts from the personal notes of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on his hospital visit to then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft in early 2004.   (Washington Post)
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(Newser) – Newly released notes taken by the FBI director in 2004 contradict Alberto Gonzales' Senate testimony about the internal conflict over the warrantless wiretapping program. Robert Mueller's heavily redacted notes refer to hospitalized AG John Ashcroft as "feeble" and "barely articulate," the Washington Post reports—a far cry from Gonzales' claim that his predecessor was "lucid."

Mueller's notes square with then-deputy AG James Comey's testimony about the dispute over the partially illegal NSA wiretapping program, which led Mueller, Comey, and other top Justice officials to threaten to resign. Gonzales, then White House counsel, has said he visited Ashcroft's hospital room but that the disagreement was not over the surveillance program.