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On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” former Attorney General under President George W. Bush Alberto Gonzales stated that if former FBI Director James Comey felt he was being pressured by the White House, he “had an obligation” to tell his superiors, and if he didn’t, “then he failed in his job.”
Gonzales said that he thinks the appointment of a special counsel is a good idea and expressed his confidence in the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller.
He added that if he were advising the president, he would advise him to stop commenting on the investigation.
Gonzales then commented, “[I]t is true that traditionally, there’s not a really strong relationship between the president and the FBI director, and for good reasons, quite frankly. If, in fact, Jim Comey felt so strongly about the pressure he was feeling from the White House, he had an obligation, in my judgment–and I don’t think any former attorney general would disagree with this–he had an obligation to notify either Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Dana Boente, someone. Because, it is a job of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general to protect all of the bureaus and services and divisions within the Department of Justice. It may very well be that Donald Trump, not having served in office, might not know that these conversations are inappropriate, particularly when there’s an investigation that may touch upon the White House. Someone like Jeff Sessions who has this relationship with Donald Trump could be very effective in pushing back the president and making him understand this — these kind of comments, relationships with the FBI director in the face of this ongoing investigation is improper and is dangerous. So, I really have a serious issue. If, in fact, Jim Comey did not notify his superiors, that is his job. That is the best thing that he could do to protect the bureau, and if he didn’t do that, then he failed in his job.”
Gonzales added, “[I]t very well may be that he may have communicated his concerns to superiors, other individuals within the Department of Justice and then if they failed to do their job, Jim has done his job. All I’m saying is, I can’t imagine any former attorney general being comfortable with a scenario where someone who’s leading the FBI is feeling undue pressure and really — and believes he can handle it and says nothing about it. I just believe that that was a failure on his part.”
(h/t GOP War Room)
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett