[JURIST] US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] on Thursday asked [press release; PDF text] Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine to investigate potentially misleading or dishonest testimony given in previous hearings by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specifically, Leahy urged Fine to investigate:
whether [Gonzales] engaged in any misconduct, engaged in conduct inappropriate for a cabinet officer and the nation's chief law enforcement officer, or violated any duty – including the duty set out in federal regulations for government officials to avoid any conduct which gives the appearance of a violation of law or of ethical standard, regardless of whether there is an actual violation of law.
Leahy asked for probes into Gonzales' testimony given during several hearings both this year and in the previous two years.
The letter from Leahy, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], comes the same day that the private notes taken by FBI Director Robert Mueller during Gonzales' visit to former Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 were released [JURIST report]. Mueller's notes indicate that Ashcroft was not lucid when Gonzales confronted him about reauthorization of the Department of Justice domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] while Gonzales was serving as White House counsel, even though Gonzales had testified that he only would have sought authorization if Ashcroft had been "fully competent to make that decision." Raw Story has more.