Monday, January 24, 2005

Is Gonzales Really Bush's Enforcer?

Sorry to take the form of other blogs that include a link and do nothing but rehash it, but CNB is crazy busy right now. However, knowing that both of the loyal CNB readers need their fix, here is a really lousy blog entry on a very interesting article.

According to Newsweek:
  • Questions are being asked about Bush's nominee for Attorney General, the previously discussed Alberto Gonzales -- these relate to his role in helping President Bush escape jury duty in a drunken-driving case involving a dancer at an Austin strip club in 1996 (when Bush was governor of Texas)
  • The judge and other lawyers in the case last week disputed a written account of the matter provided by Gonzales to the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • According to the judge, Gonzales (then chief counsel to Bush) asked to have an off-the-record conference in the judge's chambers. Gonzales then asked Crain to "consider" striking Bush from the jury, making the novel "conflict of interest" argument that the Texas governor might one day be asked to pardon the defendant (who, remember, was a stripper accused of a DUI)
  • Word is, everybody went along with it, and Bush was excused
  • By getting excused from jury duty, Bush was able to avoid questions that would have required him to disclose his own 1976 arrest and conviction for DUI, delaying that from becoming public knowledge until the closing days of the 2000 campaign
  • Interestingly, Bushleft blank on his jury questionnaire whether he had ever been "accused" in a criminal case
  • "Judge Gonzales has no recollection of requesting a meeting in chambers," a senior White House official said.

CNB is very curious to see how this all turns out. No one seems to care about Abu Ghraib, but old-fashioned back-room deals never seem to go over well.