by Peter Freyne
"Male or female?" I asked.
"A person from the White House," answered Chairman Leahy.
"Is that this week?" I asked.
"Don’t know," he answered. "Depends. And I’ve also got an agreement to turn over more emails. We’ll see what’s in them."
Yes we will.
"We’re going through thousands upon thousands of pages of depositions, interviews, emails," said St. Patrick. "This is not Perry Mason where you send somebody in and get an answer."
Fasten your seat belts, folks.
The investigation into the Bush administration's removal of U.S. attorneys for political reasons "will continue for months and months," Leahy told us. "The President said the other day that we seem to have ‘drug’ it out, to use his words.
"My response to the President," said Leahy of Vermont, "and I delivered it again yesterday, is:
answer the questions, stop hiding material and we’ll go a lot faster."
It was clear to this reporter who has covered Leahy since 1980 that his patience with the Bush-Cheney stonewalling has run out.
"You remember," noted Leahy, "they did this with the 9/11 Commission. They held back, as long as they could, the information that showed that the Bush Administration could have stopped 9/11 before it happened and didn’t."
We noted the Bush approval rating is in the toilet.
You may have noticed that last week the Pew Research Center found Bush's approval rating at an all-time low of 29 percent. Pew reported:
For the first time in Pew Research Center polling, disapproval of President Bush's job performance outnumbers approval by more than two-to-one (61% disapprove, 29% approve). Bush's job approval is down six points from April, and is three points below the previous low measured in November and December of 2006.
The decline in Bush's support is most notable among Republicans. Just under two-thirds (65%) of Republicans approve of the President's performance today, down from 77% in April. This drop is apparent among both the conservative and moderate wings of the party. The proportion of conservative Republicans giving a positive rating declined 12 points to an all-time low of 74%. The proportion of moderate and liberal Republicans giving a positive rating fell 11 points (to 52%), also an all-time low.
St. Patrick noted the poll that made the real difference was held last November when the American voter ended Republican control of House and Senate - effective one-party rule.
"They’ve had a rubber stamp Congress for six years and nobody did any investigations," Leahy pointed out. "Nobody asked any questions, No one had a voice to speak out, because it was controlled by the Republicans in the House and the Senate and they would not allow any investigations.
"Now, interestingly enough, as I go into these investigations, some of the same Republicans who were muzzled by the White House are beginning to speak out. And nobody tries to stop me from getting the subpoenas on the Republican side. This is a lot different than it was just a year ago," said Leahy.