What Eric Lipton and David Johnston wrote about the 18-day document gap, and Tony Snow's reaction to being questioned about it:
Democrats See a ‘Document Gap’ in Dismissal: Asked Wednesday about the apparent gap in the documents, Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, referred the question to the Justice Department.
What Tony Snow actually said when he "referred the question to the Justice Department":
Eschaton: I've been led to believe that there's a good response for it, and I'm going to let you ask [the Justice Department] because they're going to have an answer...
That's a very different message than the one Lipton and Johnston say Snow conveyed. "I'm not going to tell you what the Justice Department told me" is code for "The Justice Department wants me to lie for them."
This misrepresentation of Tony Snow is journamalism of a high order--journamalism reinforced by stating not that there is a suspicious in the documents but that "Democrats see" a 'gap':
And sure enough, the Justice Department was lying.
Here's the Justice Department's answer on Wednesday:
Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said, “The department has provided or made available to Congress all the documents responsive to Congress’s requests over the time period in question.” He added, “To the extent there was a lull in communications concerning the U.S. attorney issues, it reflects the fact that we have found no responsive documents from that time period, which included the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Here's the result from Friday's document dump:
Joshua Micah Marshall March 23, 2007 09:54 PM: From the AP...
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals.
Also worth noting, these new and very daming emails are from the 'gap'...
Gonzales Met With Advisers on Ouster Plan: The calendar entry [revealing Gonzales's meeting] was among more than 280 pages of Justice Department documents released Friday night.... Department officials said there had not been an intentional effort to delay the release of the new material. Instead, they said, the e-mail messages were overlooked in past searches of office files and computers...