Yesterday the Department of State responded to Senator Biden in writing. The letter lays out how Bolton’s memory was jogged:
JUL 28, 2005
Dear Senator Biden:
I am writing in response to your letters of July 27 and July 28. Mr. Bolton confirms that he has never appeared before the grand jury or been interviewed or otherwise asked to provide information by the special counselor his staff in connection with their investigation of the Valerie Plame matter. Press reports to the contrary are inaccurate.
With regard to your question concerning the Joint Department of State and CIA Inspectors General Report o’fi Alleged Iraqi Attempts to Procure Uranium from Niger, Mr. Bolton does not recall being interviewed by the Inspector General. However, we have checked the records of our Office of Inspector General and have confinned that Mr. Bolton was interviewed by the Inspector General’s staff on July 18,2003. This interview related to Mr. Bolton’s involvement in preparation of materials concerning Iraq’s attempts to obtain uranium from Niger; the interview did not relate to the Valerie Plame matter. Mr. Bolton answered the questions on the Committee’s questionnaire to the best of his knowledge, but he did not recall this interview at the time he completed the questionnaire. Mr. Bolton will submit an amended questionnaire to the Committee tomorrow. Mr. Bolton has already responded to Committee questions about his involvement in preparation of State Department materials concerning Iraq’s attempts to obtain uranium from Niger; as Mr. Bolton informed the Committee, he did not assist in preparation of the Department’s Niger Uranium Fact Sheet.
Matthew A. Reynolds
Acting Assistant Secretary
Given Bolton’s poor memory, I hope that State isn’t just taking Bolton’s word on the Fitzgerald nomination or on the production of the Niger fact sheet. Mr. Bolton’s hazy recollection of this time period — apparently, the entire year 2003 — justifies some scrutiny.
— Dave Meyer