The story from James Comey is so bizarre, so made-for-TV-movie that is almost defies belief. But then you remember who you're dealing with: an administration that doesn't believe in the rule of law, doesn't believe that it needs any Congressional or court oversight while wiretapping American citizens illegally, and is prepared to abuse a man on his sickbed to get its way. Ashcroft, to his eternal credit, stood up for the rule of law as attorney-general, which is why he was eventually replaced by Alberto Gonzales, a man whose entire career is as a Bush family indentured servant.
But in case the import of this is not clear: John Ashcroft was way too moderate for these people. John Ashcroft.