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Mr. Mueller was called to the hospital by Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey, who told him that Mr. Gonzales and then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. were going to visit Mr. Ashcroft, who was recovering from emergency gall bladder surgery.

Mr. Comey had been designated acting attorney general and was worried that Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card were going to pressure Mr. Ashcroft into authorizing a top-secret government surveillance program that Mr. Comey objected to on legal grounds.

Mr. Mueller’s notes, which were released yesterday afternoon by the House Judiciary Committee after being turned over in heavily redacted form by the FBI, add some small details, but no big revelations, to the story of what happened on March 10, 2004.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washington