Yesterday’s hearing of the investigations subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee made it clear that the controversy surrounding NASA inspector general Robert Cobb is not dying down, although it might yet be overshadowed by NASA chief counsel Michael Wholley’s decision to destroy DVDs of a meeting between Mike Griffin and members of the IG staff. By the end of the hearing, according to various news reports (I didn’t watch the hearing, being in Dallas for a conference) Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the ranking member of the subcommittee, said that if the chairman, Rep. Brad Miller, drafted a letter to Attorney General asking for a formal investigation into the matter, he would also sign it. (This, of course, is the same Alberto Gonzales that many in Congress wish would resign.) In any case, it appears that NASA is faced with twin issues that could prove embarrassing for the agency: the actions of Cobb himself, and the DVD destruction decision. The question: if these issues drag on for months—very possibly, particularly if the DOJ gets involved in an investigation—what sort of adverse impact does it have on the agency’s overall reputation as the FY08 appropriations efforts get into high gear?