On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Trent Lott claimed that President Bush would be "making a huge mistake" if he allows "his close advisers in the White House to testify before Congress under oath," adding: "There is a thing called executive privilege." While host Chris Wallace noted the number of Clinton administration officials who testified, he did not question Lott about his assertions then about the limitations of executive privilege: that the president should not be able to claim executive privilege unless national security considerations are involved.
Several media outlets reporting on the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote to authorize subpoenas of senior White House officials to force on-the-record testimony in the U.S. attorney investigation suggested that the vote fell along partisan lines. In fact, Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican, went on record with an "aye" vote in favor of subpoenas.
A March 20 New York Times article bore the headline "E-Mail Shows Performance, Not Politics, Prompted Attorney Firings, Officials Say." But the article itself reported that performance did not appear to play a role in at least one firing, that of Daniel K. Bogden of Nevada. According to the article, "a top Justice Department official who oversaw the dismissals said he had never even reviewed the performance" of Bogden.
An article in the New York Times "Week in Review" section left out a key element in the controversy over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys: Justice Department emails appear to contradict Alberto Gonzales' congressional testimony, in which he said that the administration intended to seek Senate approval for every U.S. attorney appointed to replace those who had been fired.