America gets news this morning of a significant gap that may end up being the equivalent of the missing minutes on Nixon’s White House audio tapes.
When Alberto Gonzales was White House counsel, he was charged with the task of ensuring that no documents related to the Valerie Plame leak were destroyed. He was to give word to everyone in the White House that all evidence was to be preserved. Now we have learned that’s not exactly what Alberto Gonzales did.
What Alberto Gonzales did was to talk to the White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, first. Gonzales told Card that there would be an investigation and that he would be telling everyone in the White House not to destroy any evidence related to the leak the following morning.
Then, Gonzales went home. Only in the morning did Gonzales formally notify the rest of the White House that evidence was being sought and must be preserved. That means that Andrew Card had 12 hours to direct White House officials to do… oh, just what was it that they did?
Democratic Senator Joseph Biden describes the implications as follows: “The real question now is, who did the chief of staff speak to? Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call Karl Rove? Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call anybody else?”
And just what would have been said during those phone calls? Surely, surely, surely, no one would have discussed covering their tracks, or destroying evidence related to the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. Surely.