By way of followup to Steve’s post from this morning, Reuters’ Vicki Allen reports:
The State Department on Thursday said U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton told Congress the truth when he said he did not testify in the investigation of the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Bolton’s answer in March to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was ‘truthful then and it remains the case now.’ …
Questioned by reporters, McCormack recited the committee’s questionnaire that asks whether a nominee ‘has been interviewed or asked to supply any information in connection with any administrative (including an inspector general), congressional or grand jury investigation, within the past five years, except routine congressional testimony.’
‘Mr. Bolton, in his response on the written paperwork, was to say ‘No.’ And that answer is truthful then and it remains the case now,’ McCormack said.”
Assuming that what McCormack meant by that last statement is that Bolton’s response was to say ‘no’ – not that he was told by someone else to reply in the negative – that still leaves unresolved the same questions Steve asked earlier, particularly if the State Department is using some nebulous loophole in the disclosure form’s language.
A spokesman for Joe Biden told Reuters that the statements from McCormack did not resolve the questions that Biden outlined in his letter to Rice from yesterday. He said that Biden continues to await a written response from Secretary Rice.
Good for Biden. The possibility of word parsing in this case, and the continued question of whether Bolton was involved in at least two inspector general investigations while at the State Department, mean that none of us should let up the pressure. Keep asking the questions, and keep demanding answers.
In other news from the Reuters report, which may or may not be of any relevance whatsoever, Frist said today that the Senate would not act in any way on the Bolton nomination prior to recessing at the end of the week, “and therefore we will address it after the recess.” As for the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan continued today with the “nothing has changed” line, refusing to say anything further than that and “We’ve always felt he deserves an up or down vote.”
And we’ve always felt that if all our questions are answered, he’ll get one. Nothing has changed there either.
– Jeremy Dibbell (blogger, Charging RINO)