Friday, October 14, 2005

Follow Up on Dobson’s Remarks

Follow Up on Dobson’s Remarks

Four days ago, I wrote about James Dobson, the founder and head of Focus on the Family, admitted that a wrongdoing had taken place when he said that he knew things, "…that I probably should not know."

Last night, on his radio show, Dobson said that Carl Rove had released him to talk about their conversations. He said that in those conversations, Rove had assured him of Miers' personal anti-abortion position without committing Miers to any vote on a future issue. Rove had also mentioned that other potential candidates had said that they did not want the nomination because they wanted to avoid the approval process.

Regarding the information that "I probably shouldn't know", Dobson said that it was that Harriet Miers was on the President's short list.

And what I was referring to is the fact that on Saturday, the day before the President made his decision, I knew that Harrier Miers was at the top of the short list of names under consideration. And as you know, that information hadn’t been released yet, and everyone in Washington and many people around the country wanted to know about it and the fact that he had shared with me is not something I wanted to reveal.

I have a slight problem with this. The nomination was announced on Monday, October 3rd. Dobson made the statement, "...things that I shouldn't know," on Wednesday, October 5th. More importantly, he spoke in the present tense -- not about things he learned earlier than others but could not talk about, but things that others did not know on October 5th that were relevant to his decision.

It is hard to tell what he meant. Therefore, I want Dobson brought before the Senate committee, put under oath, and asked directly, “You stated that there were things that you probably should not know regarding Harriet Miers or other subjects relevant to her nomination. What were those things that you probably should not have known?”

If he answers with some innocent fact that could be easily assumed or there was no reason to keep secret, Dobson should be reminded that he swore an oath to tell the truth and that lying to the Senate is a crime.

If Dobson invokes the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination to keep from revealing that information, he is at least on the record as far as this issue goes, and the Senators can act accordingly.

If Dobson actually comes up with things that he should not have known, the Senate can decide the best course of action to take with that information once it is made known.

The explanations that Dobson gave on his own radio program were not made under oath, with no particular reason to believe that Dobson was telling the truth.

I would like to note that Dobson did not specify that he learned that which “I probably should not know” from Rove. He simply stated that he knew things he probably should not know in the context of discussing the Miers’ nomination. Senators questioning Dobson should keep this in mind when framing their questions, and not focus narrowly on his conversations with Rove.

No comments: