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The I-Don't-Recall Man | The Nation

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The I-Don't-Recall Man

Many of you may not have had the time to tune into the testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee. So, as a public service, here's just the nub of what you need to know about his morning appearance, as taken down by your trusty scribe. Think of it as a little 3-minute primer for a busy world on the state of (in)Justice (Department of…) in America:

Gonzales' introductory statement: "I shoulda been more precise… My misstatements were my mistakes, no one else's… I have been extremely forthcoming with information… not the actions of someone with something to hide…"

Responses to Committee Chairman Sen. Leahy (D-VT.): "I can only recall… I don't recall… I did not know… it appears… I was not responsible for… I have no recollection… Again, Senator, I was not responsible for compiling that… I don't recall a specific mention… It appears… as I recall… I don't recall Senator Dominici ever…That rationale was not in my mind, as I recall… Senator, that's an answer that I have to get back to you… Senator, I'd like to give you that information, but…"

Responses to Sen. Specter (R-PA.): "Senator, I don't want to quarrel with you… Based on what I thought, what I understood was going on… I believed that was ongoing… I don't recall… What I recall is… I don't recall whether Mr. Mercer presented me the numbers… Senator, I have no recollection about that, but I presume that that is true… Senator, I do recall having a conversation with Mr. Rove… Senator, you're talking about a series of events that occurred over possibly 700 days… putting it in context, Senator, I would say that my involvement was limited… Senator, of course, in hindsight…"

Reponses to Sen. Kennedy (D-MA.): "I think that's a fair question, Senator… I was not the person in the Department who had the most information… Since then, I have gone back and looked at the documents available to Congress… I'm not aware that anyone… I believe that I had a good process… Senator, I did not review the document… Senator, I think it's a good question… I don't recall in connection to this review process Mr. Sampson was involved in… I don't recall everyone who was there… Senator, there may have been other discussions…"

Responses to Sen. Brownback (R-KS.): "I do not recall what I knew about… I just don't recall the reason… It appears there were concerns about… Now, in hindsight… I'm not aware of any new facts here… She's the other person, quite candidly, Senator, that I don't recall… I myself was confused, quite frankly, when I testified… Generally, I recall…"

Responses to interjection by Chairman Leahy: "Sir, I don't recall sending a follow-up quite frankly. I don't know if it was a mistake or misstatement in my testimony… "

Responses to Sen. Kohl (D-WI.): "Senator, I was never aware… Senator, again, this is a process that was ongoing that I didn't have transparency into… With all due respect Senator… he's the person who has the answers… Senator, I'll go back and see if there is something that I can do… We've done great things!..."

Senator Feinstein (D-CA.): "Senator, I don't recall specifically the genesis of the idea… I don't have any recollection about the mechanics of the legislative process… As I recall, his updates were brief… as Mr. Sampson gave me updates, I don't recall… I accept full responsibility… Senator, I don't recall making the decision that day… I don't recall exactly when I made the decision… Senator, I don't recall knowing whether… Senator, I don't know that…"

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