Schumer: White House needs to ‘come clean’

042307gonzales.jpgA Senate leader insisted Sunday that the White House needed to allay concerns over the firings of federal prosecutors, saying beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared to remember little about the scandal.

“Someone had to come up with this scheme,” Senator Chuck Schumer told Fox news about last year’s sackings of eight prosecutors which were allegedly politically motivated.

“When Attorney General Gonzales says he doesn’t know what’s going on, and his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, says he doesn’t know what’s going on, or at least he didn’t compile the list … the arrow seems to point at the White House more and more.”

Gonzales testifed last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend his actions as the country’s top law enforcement official and fend off calls for his resignation.

In his highly anticipated testimony, Gonzales tried to explain that the decision to fire the prosecutors had not been tainted by an abuse of power, and that he had been scarcely involved in the process.

“I never sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people,” he said.

But critics said he sought to defend himself by saying he could not remember the details of the dismissals.

Even Republican Senator Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the committee doubted the attorney general’s candor, telling Fox news that Gonzales’s testimony was “very, very damaging to his own credibility.”

“It has been damaging to the administration, because without answers as to what really happened, there is a lot of speculation,” said Specter.

“And the charges are being made that the Department of Justice was the political arm of the White House.”

Specter declined, however, to call on Gonzales to resign, saying his future was between him and the president, who also has the power to appoint and dismiss prosecutors.

Schumer had no such reservations.

“All of America saw why so many of us had felt for so long that he shouldn’t be attorney general,” Schumer told Fox news.

“He was not in command of the facts. He contradicted himself. And he doesn’t really appreciate the role of attorney general.”

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also urged Gonzales to step down after President George W. Bush’s longtime aide was grilled by the Senate judiciary panel.

“The nation cannot have a chief law enforcement officer whose candor and judgment are in serious question,” the Democratic leader said in a statement.

Senator Tom Coburn, an influential Republican, has also joined the calls for Gonzales to step down, telling the attorney general at Thursday’s hearing that “the best way to put this behind us is your resignation.”

The White House, however, issued a statement after the hearing saying that Bush was “pleased” with his longtime aide’s performance before the committee.

Bush has “full confidence” in Gonzales, who “again showed that nothing improper occurred,” Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse


  1. lackeylocal

    Needless to say, it was quite a show.
    The line of ALL lines – ” I do not recall”……… when he started using this repeatedly, then his credability went all to hell. You knew when he was going to use it because his head was bobbing!!!

    Now if they could just get Karl Rove in the hot seat. Wouldn’t that be nice.


  2. KayInMaine

    SUBPOENAS! As a liberal, I can’t understand why the democrats don’t just start subpoenaing Karl Rove to get him under oath to testify his side of the story and if it ends up with him lying under oath (most definitely) then get rid of him!

    Dennis Kucinich is going to be announcing the Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney this week. Finally! I bet the democrats and the republicans will not support this.

    I’m starting to think that both parties really don’t care about the rule of law anymore. A few do, but other than that, everyone seems fine with the criminal status quo! Disgusting.

  3. JudyB

    There is so much dishonesty and deception in this bunch that the only way they will ever “come clean” is to flush the truth out..and there is just not enough time or money. As for Rove..I think he and Cheney are behind every rotten thing that has happened since 2000 and Bush is their means to making it all seem leagal and above board..The idea man, the brain man, and the power man plus a few willing and eager cheats & liars and you have what it takes to do American in… via no checks & balances. One will lie and the other will swear its the truth and never will you see any of them take an oath or have to be accountable in any way.