Monday, June 4, 2018

the last book I ever read (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey, excerpt seven)

from A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey:

Gonzales then began to explain that he and Card were there at the president’s direction about a vital national security program, that it was essential that the program continue, that they had briefed the leadership of Congress, who understood the program’s value, wanted it continued, and were willing to work with us to fix any legal issues. Then he paused.

And then John Ashcroft did something that amazed me. He pushed himself up on the bed with his elbows. His tired eyes fixed upon the president’s men, and he gave Card and Gonzales a rapid-fire blast. He had been misled about the scope of the surveillance program, he said. He vented that he had long been denied the legal support he needed by their narrow “read-in” requirements. Then he said he had serious concerns about the legal basis for parts of the program now that he understood it. Spent, he fell back on his pillow, his breathing labored. “But that doesn’t matter now,” he said, “because I’m not the attorney general.” With a finger extended from his shaking left hand, he pointed at me. “There is the attorney general.”

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