Republican senators refused to put Attorney General Alberto Gonzales under oath in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Bush's clandestine wiretap program, RAW STORY has learned.
The move was first picked up by ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress has the video here.
Testimony before Congress is governed by Congressional law; individuals can still be prosecuted for lying to Congress. Technically, individuals need not be under oath to face prosecution. Democrats have focused on having individuals under oath before -- most notably oil executives -- who were found to have lied to a Senate Committee when they said their companies did not take part in secretive meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney on U.S. energy policy. The Washington Post later reported that the executives had been lying.
The transcript from the Gonzales hearing relevant to putting the Attorney General under oath follows.
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER, CHAIRMAN (R-PA): So the question is, should the ruling of the chair be upheld that Attorney General Gonzales not be sworn?
HATCH (R): Aye.
GRASSLEY (R): Aye.
DEWINE (R): Aye.
GRAHAM (R): Aye.
KYL (R): Aye.
CORNYN (R): Aye.
SPECTER: By proxy, for Sen. Brownback, aye. Sen. Coburn – We’ve got enough votes already. Sen. Leahy?
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, RANKING DEMOCRAT: Emphatically, no.
KENNEDY (D): No.
BIDEN (D): No.
KOHL (D): No.
FEINSTEIN (D): No.
FEINGOLD (D): No.
SPECTER (R): Aye. The ayes have it.
FEINGOLD: Mr. Chairman, I request to see the proxies given by the Republican senators.
SPECTER: Could you repeat that Sen. Feingold?
FEINGOLD: I request to see the proxies given by the Republican senators.
SPECTER: The practice is to rely upon the staffers. But without counting that vote – Well, we can rephrase the question if there’s any serious challenge of the proxies. This is really not a very good way to begin this hearing.