Senator Who Said Gonzales Lied to Him Hasn't Heard Back
Then Pryor became even more emphatic. Gonzales "not only lied to me as a person, but when he lied to me, he lied to the Senate and he lied to the people I represent," Pryor said. "And for that reason, I'm asking him and demanding that he resign today."
At Thursday's Judiciary Committee hearing, Gonzales was probed by both Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, about his discussion with Pryor. Gonzales said he never liked the idea of an interim appointment without Senate confirmation because it dilutes the prosecutor's authority. But Schumer said it "defies credulity" that Sampson could have unilaterally sent the memo to the White House and "after you tell somebody you're going one way goes exactly the opposite way."
Describing Pryor as "one of the most temperate" and "mild-mannered" senators, Schumer said that his colleague's words "were all the more striking" for that reason. Graham had some "personal advice" for Gonzales, saying he needed to make amends to Pryor, who had "said some pretty harsh things, which is out of character." Graham advised Gonzales to "sit down with him and walk through what happened" and asked Gonzales to clean up the mess.
"Senator, I couldn't agree more," said Gonzales. "I have a great deal of admiration for Senator Pryor, and I think that's a good idea."
But as of Friday afternoon, Gonzales had not reached out to Pryor, the senator's communications director, Michael Teague, told U.S. News. Teague said Pryor's "door is always open" and that the senator "doesn't have any reservations" about meeting with Gonzales but is not sure "what good it would do at this point."
"They not only wrote the E-mail, they implemented that E-mail," says Teague. "And Griffin still holds that position." Teague said Pryor still feels lied to and still wants Gonzales to resign.
"We don't buy this story about the attorney general saying he rejected the idea," said Teague. "In Arkansas, we got a word for thatit's 'baloney.' "