Mueller indicated to Congress that he had recorded and kept notes about the entire incident because of its unbelievable nature.
Mueller’s notes have him arriving at the hospital 20 minutes after receiving a call (at 7:40 p.m.), from Comey saying that Gonzales and Card were racing to the hospital and that he-Comey was requesting Mueller's presence to "witness the condition of the Attorney General." When Mueller arrived, Gonzales and Card had already left. Mueller's notes of the subsequent conversation between Comey, Ashcroft and Mueller uncovered that the Leading law enforcement officer of the United States appeared to have been kept in the dark about the wiretapping program already in place by action of the president.
Mueller says his notes revealed that Ashcroft went over with Gonzales and Card the departments legal concerns about the program. The Ashcroft also told them that he was banned from seeking the legal advice he needed to evaluate the program by the White House."
Representative Conyers affirmed that Mueller ‘s notes confirm Comey's testimony and raises more questions, than it answers, saying "Director Mueller's notes and recollections concerning the White House visit to the Attorney General's hospital bed confirm an attempt to goad a sick and heavily medicated Ashcroft to approve the warrantless surveillance program," adding that "this heavily redacted document raises far more questions than it answers. We intend to fully investigate this incident and the underlying subject matter that evoked such widespread distress within the Department and the FBI." However, Representative Conyers did not make any comment about why Mrs.’ Pelosi is sheltering the subjects in what appears to be mounting evidence of criminal behavior by not initiating impeachment. This is all endless talk with no action.
Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter Thursday, requesting that the Department of Justice Inspector General investigate statements made by Gonzales before Congress, including statements about the disagreement between the White House and the DOJ over the wiretapping program in question.
Comey said, that when Gonzales and Card arrived, "The door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and with him was Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed." They wanted Mr. Ashcroft to sign an eavesdropping plan that Comey and others at the Justice Department had already called “legally indefensible.” Gonzales had his envelope and immediately informed Ashcroft that they were there "to seek his approval for a matter.” Ashcroft, however, had adjusted and had more on the ball than expected given his condition and status of health. He absolutely refused to sign anything, told them why. He further informed them that said that, nevertheless, Comey was the acting attorney general and with the full powers of the office. Ashcroft "lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter" -- that Comey was right. "And as he laid back down, he said, 'But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general. There is the attorney general.' And he pointed to me."
Gonzales and Card "did not acknowledge me," Comey testified. "They turned and walked from the room."
"I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man."
The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee stared incredulously. The only Republican there was Arlen Specter (Pa.), he put his head down, apparently in disgust, disbelief, and shame. Comey 6-foot-8, giant of a man, sat a bit slightly hunched in the witness chair, and spun a tale right out of a Hollywood political fiction worthy of Allan Drury.
Haltingly, Comey told the quiet crowd, "I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man. Comey’s was obviously emotional over the reminiscence and his decision to resign if they persisted in the pressure to sign, "I couldn't stay, if the administration was going to engage in conduct that the Department of Justice had said had no legal basis."
Comey was there before the committee to discuss Gonzales's firing of U.S. attorneys. However, under questioning from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), he related Gonzales's sleazy, treacherous misadventure. Appropriately enough, the testimony came the morning of the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty-- the fourth senior official to resign in the prosecutor disaster. The entire thing had all the trappings of a Mafia St. Valentine’s day Massacre, or a Stalin move to overthrow what little there was left of law in Russia.
Following Gonzales fiasco testimony, which would not have fooled five year olds, Senator Specter offered his assessment of McNulty's “resignation.” It’s embarrassing for a professional to work for the Department of Justice today," he said, the resignation was ample "evidence that the department really cannot function with the continued leadership or lack of leadership of Attorney General Gonzales."
According to Comey, foreseeing the hoodlemism at work, would try to have him thrown out of Mr. Ashcroft’s room, he requested that FBI Director Robert Mueller to restrain such an attempt to intimidate or worse, a very sick man. Within moments after the bedside war of words, Card called the hospital, demanding that Comey come to the White House immediately, Comey said. "I responded that, after the conduct I had just witnessed, I would not meet with him without a witness present."
"He replied, 'what conduct? We were just there to wish him well.' " When Card demanded an answer to whether or not Comey was "refusing to come to the White House," Comey, and the solicitor general, went to the West Wing at 11 p.m.
Senator Schumer summed up the appalling behavior of the two men and their monstrous episode by stating that the entire horror show made him "gulp."
Specter in summarizing the firing of the Watergate prosecutor, "It has some characteristics of the Saturday Night Massacre." Everyone knew whom he blamed, as he asked, "Can you give us an example of an exercise of good judgment by Alberto Gonzales?”