Schumer: Here are some of the falsehoods we've been told that are now unraveling.Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has committed a felony by lying to Congress and needs to be removed from office immediately. And can we please get to the impeachment proceedings before Bush leaves office?
First, we were told that the seven of the eight U.S. attorneys were fired for performance reasons.
It now turns out this was a falsehood, as the glowing performance evaluations attest.
Second, we were told by the attorney general that he would, quote, "never, ever make a change for political reasons."
It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as all the evidence makes clear that this purge was based purely on politics, to punish prosecutors who were perceived to be too light on Democrats or too tough on Republicans.
Third, we were told by the attorney general that this was just an overblown personnel matter.
It now turns out that far from being a low-level personnel matter, this was a longstanding plan to exact political vendettas or to make political pay-offs.
Fourth, we were told that the White House was not really involved in the plan to fire U.S. attorneys. This, too, turns out to be false.
Harriet Miers was one of the masterminds of this plan, as demonstrated by numerous e-mails made public today. She communicated extensively with Kyle Sampson about the firings of the U.S. attorneys. In fact, she originally wanted to fire and replace the top prosecutors in all 93 districts across the country.
Fifth, we were told that Karl Rove had no involvement in getting his protege appointed U.S. attorney in Arkansas.
In fact, here is a letter from the Department of Justice. Quote: "The department is not aware of Karl Rove playing any role in the decision to appoint Mr. Griffin."
It now turns out that this was a falsehood, as demonstrated by Mr. Sampson's own e-mail. Quote: "Getting him, Griffin, appointed was important to Harriet, Karl, et cetera.
Sixth, we were told to change the Patriot Act was an innocent attempt to fix a legal loophole, not a cynical strategy to bypass the Senate's role in serving as a check and balance.
It was Senator Feinstein who discovered that issue. She'll talk more about it.
So there has been misleading statement after misleading statement -- deliberate misleading statements. And we haven't gotten to the bottom of this yet, but believe me, we will pursue it.
BTW, kudos is due to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo for his continued digging and coverage of this story, which has demonstrated that his early intuitions were right on the money. He'll be on Keith Olbermann's Countdown tonight.