[JURIST] A 2004 FBI memorandum appears to contradict congressional testimony by US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] concerning whether he was aware of FBI "abuses" of the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] when he testified for the law's reauthorization in 2005, the Washington Post reported Saturday. Gonzales, who testified in 2005 "there has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse," told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that his use of the word "abuse" referred only to "intentional violations" by the FBI. The FBI memorandum, however, sent to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board and the Department of Justice in October 2004, notes that an FBI agent willfully and intentionally violated safeguards restricting the use of national security letters (NSL) [CRS backgrounder, PDF; FBI backgrounder]. The memorandum appears to contradict Gonzales' assertion that his 2005 testimony was accurate.
Earlier in July, the Washington Post reported that Gonzales had received at least six internal FBI reports [JURIST report] that the FBI had improperly used NSLs prior to his April 27, 2005 testimony during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing [committee materials; transcript]. DOJ spokesperson Brian Roehrkasse defended Gonzales' testimony, telling the Post that the statements referred only to the lack of verified cases by the DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) [official website] and did not include documents from the FBI. The Washington Post has more.