The Corner

“John Ashcroft’s America” RIP?

I think the more interesting passage from that Times’ piece is this:

Mr. Comey recalled arriving at the darkened hospital room, where Mr. Ashcroft seemed hardly aware of his surroundings. For a time, only Mr. Comey and the Ashcrofts were in the room. Meanwhile, Mr. Mueller, who had not yet arrived, told Mr. Comey’s security detail by phone “not to allow me to be removed from the room under any circumstances,” Mr. Comey testified.

Minutes later, he said, Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card entered the room, with Mr. Gonzales carrying an envelope. “And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there, to seek his approval for a matter,” Mr. Comey related.

“And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me,” Mr. Comey went on: He raised his head from the pillow, reiterated his objections to the program, then lay back down, pointing to Mr. Comey as the attorney general during his illness.

When Mr. Mueller arrived, “he had a brief, a memorable brief exchange with the attorney general, and then we went outside in the hallway,” Mr. Comey said.

Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card departed, but after a while, Mr. Card telephoned Mr. Comey and “demanded that I come to the White House immediately,” Mr. Comey said.

“After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States,” Mr. Comey said he told Mr. Card.

Me: The upshot: The entire narrative of “John Ashcroft’s America” was always deeply flawed. The principled Christian conservative was never the man his detractors thought. More discussion tomorrow. This is debate night.