FBI chief contradicts Gonzales' testimonyseattletimes.nws...
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seattletimes.nwsource.com — FBI Director Robert Mueller contradicted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn testimony and Senate Democrats requested a perjury investigation Thursday in a fresh barrage against President Bush's embattled longtime friend and aide.

Gonzales repeatedly and emphatically told the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that the president's secretive warrantless domestic eavesdropping program was not at issue during a dramatic hospital bedside visit with ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004. Mueller, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, said it was.

"It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter calling for Justice Department Solicitor General Paul Clement to hire a special counsel to investigate.

"I'm convinced that he's not telling the truth," added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The White House continued to defend Gonzales on Thursday, and denied Mueller had contradicted the attorney general's testimony. Presidential spokesman Tony Snow said lawmakers were manipulating the testimony of Gonzales and Mueller, who he said were limited in what they could say publicly about classified intelligence-gathering programs.

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