The senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the unfolding U.S. attorneys scandal, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, her attorneys said today.
Monica M. Goodling -- who is on an indefinite leave of absence from Gonzales's office -- also alleges in a sworn declaration that a "senior Department of Justice official" has admitted he was "not entirely candid" in his Senate testimony and has blamed Goodling and others for not fully briefing him.
How can the U.S. Congress fullfil its oversight responsibilities for the Justice Department if senior members of the Attorney General's staff refuse to testify before the Judiciary Committee? This is outrageous and not just a little problematic for the White House.
The Bush apologists have been claiming that this is all partisan politics and insisting that no crime was committed. If that is true, why would someone Plead the Fifth? What kind of incriminating things were going on at the Justice Department? Maybe it is time to appoint a special prosecutor for this case.