Alberto Gonzales is not out of the woods just yet. The Inspector General at the Justice Department is investigating whether the former Attorney General perjured himself in front of Congress in July. In other words, the career professionals inside the government might try to make an example out of him:
The disclosure, by Glenn A. Fine, the department???‚¬?„?s inspectorgeneral, came in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and was thefirst official confirmation that Mr. Gonzales was under investigationwithin the executive branch over the truthfulness of his testimony. Thecommittee???‚¬?„?s chairman, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, had requested the inquiry this month.
Forweeks, lawmakers from both parties have questioned whether Mr. Gonzalestold the truth in sworn statements to Congress on a number of issues,including his involvement in efforts to preserve the National Security Agency's program of wiretapping without warrants, as well as his role in last year???‚¬?„?s dismissals of several United States Attorneys for what appeared to be political reasons.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) sent out a press release thanking the Inspector General for his efforts.
Maybe the real question worth asking is whether Gonzales resigned because he thought it might lessen the chances of him being investigated. Glenn Fine does not care. Gonzales tarnished the reputation of a department whose purpose is to oversee the enforcement of US law. A lot of career professionals who worked their entire lives to be part of that agency are angry. Gonzales will not get off easy. He will probably have to testify.