Is Gonzales headed for the door?

President Bush & AG GonzalesThe top Republican on the Senate committee investigating Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes Gonzales could step down before a no-confidence vote sought this week by Senate Democrats.

Gonzales failed to draw a public statement of support from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell. Asked whether Gonzales effectively can lead the Justice Department, McConnell said "that's for the president to decide." The senator suggested there may be several resolutions introduced to dilute a no-confidence vote.

"In the Senate, nobody gets a clear shot," said McConnell, R-Ky.

Yet Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he believed a "sizable number" of GOP lawmakers would join Democrats in expressing their lack of confidence in the attorney general.

Five Republicans have urged Gonzales to resign over his firing of federal prosecutors, while several other Republicans have expressed criticism of his actions.

"Votes of no confidence are very rare," Specter said. "Historically, that is something which Attorney General Gonzales would like to avoid. I think that if and when he sees that coming, he would prefer to avoid that kind of a historical black mark."

The White House has called the upcoming vote a "political stunt" and said Gonzales retains President Bush's confidence.

Specter long has made it clear he believed the Justice Department no longer functioned well because of Gonzales' handling of the prosecutor firings and that as a result Gonzales would step down.

But Specter's comments Sunday raised the pressure on Gonzales and Bush, who has indicated Gonzales would not be leaving anytime soon.

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California said they will seek a vote on a nonbinding resolution as early as this week to express what senators of both parties have said for weeks: that Gonzales has become too weakened to run the department.

A no-confidence vote, though symbolic, probably would create trouble for Gonzales. Any attorney general needs to work with Congress on legislation, as well as nominees who require Senate confirmation. Gonzales would need to confirm a new deputy attorney general because his current one, Paul McNulty, is leaving over the firings of federal prosecutors.

Gonzales will be in Europe next week, visiting his counterparts in Hungary and Switzerland before joining a conference of leading industrial nations Thursday in Germany. He will be back in Washington on Friday — the night before the long Memorial Day weekend and a planned congressional vacation.

Specter and other senators said they were particularly troubled by testimony last week that Gonzales, when he was Bush's White House counsel, pressured then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to certify the legality of Bush's controversial eavesdropping program while Ashcroft was in intensive care.

In his testimony, former deputy attorney general James Comey said he thought the no-warrant program was questionable and violated the law. Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andy Card then headed to Ashcroft's sick bed at George Washington University Hospital in an unsuccessful bid to convince Ashcroft otherwise. The program was eventually certified after it was modified.

On Sunday, Schumer sent a letter to Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, asking if they personally ordered Gonzales to Ashcroft's hospital room. When asked twice by reporters last week, Bush refused to answer.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he did not believe that Gonzales acted illegally. If Bush chooses to support Gonzales, then senators should work on passing legislation such as immigration reform rather than playing "gotcha" games, said Graham, R-S.C.

"I want to focus on that, rather than pass a resolution, that's never been done in the history of the Congress, to play 'gotcha' politics with the attorney general," he said.

Specter appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," McConnell spoke on ABC's "This Week," and Graham was on "Fox News Sunday."

10 Responses to "Is Gonzales headed for the door?"

  1. SEAL  May 21, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    With the news today that the dems are caving in to Bush and giving him his blank check for the war until september with no timelines or other strings attached it becomes hopeless that this congress will stop them.

    The only hope left is the American people. Maybe I’m dreaming but I truly believe they will come through in the end. The only problem is they will surely wait too long. The sooner they act the better. If they wait too long the damage will be so enormous it will be a disaster to repair and the nation will have to go through great suffering to right itself again. However, I still have faith that it can be done.

  2. joneden  May 22, 2007 at 4:13 am

    Ashcroft looking so much better these days is just more evidence in support of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

    jon
    Connecting the dots: from human behaviors to ecosystem decline
    http://StudentsForTheEarth.org

  3. SEAL  May 20, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Your evaluation of Gonzales as nothing more than a facillitator serving the will of his master, Bush, with no consideration of consequence is entirely correct. The evidence of that is overwhelming.

    However, Regardless of the conditions under which either of them leave public office we can never consider them receiving their just rewards. The only justice for either of them would be shackles and imprisionment for the heinious crimes they have pertpetrated against all of humanity. The reality is that they will walk away just like all others of their ilk with personal fortunes to live out their lives in the grand style that the rest of us only fantasize about.

    Over two thousand years ago the greek philosopher, Plato, stated that “justice is the will of whoever is in power.” Nothing has changed.

  4. Rick Fuller  May 21, 2007 at 1:07 am

    The Dems now have an opportunity to insert into the next AG’s confirmation a resolution calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Bush Administrations run-up to war just or any other area where the Bush Administration has let us American people down.

    Congress did this thirty years ago to Richard Nixon as well.

  5. SEAL  May 21, 2007 at 2:49 am

    I had wondered at the beginning if that was the dems real goal by creating an environment that would result in Gonzo’s resignation. They have never been willing to challenge the Bush axis of evil that deliberately cooked the pitch for war with Iraq directly. This would give them a chance to “discover” the evidence rather than appearing to be “out to get” Bush. This way they come off looking like the good guys.

    Isn’t it amazing we have allowed them to play these image games instead of demanding they just doing their damn job? We have been watching nothing but political posturing ever since the last election designed only for the benefit of the “party.” I wouldn’t mind that too much if it would also produce benefit for the nation. But, so far, it hasn’t.

    They still have the chance to accomplish something good with the war funding bills but all the signs indicate Bush will get his war money in the end due to the idiotic “support the troops” slogan the dems refuse to debunk. However, if the democrats do not force at least the beginning of our withdrawal from Iraq before Bush’s term ends they will be making a huge mistake that may help them in the 2008 election but they will have the total responsibility for Iraq dumped on them and their new president. That will allow the Bush axis to claim the failure in Iraq is on the democrats for not following through with their plan to colonize Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In the meantime they are wasting an enormous amount of time and our money with attention diversion immigration nonsense [I refuse to call it negotiation] that is totally unnecessary. The immigration policy and laws to take care of the problem have always existed. All they have to do is enforce it/them. Send back anyone who is here illegally and shut the border down. Fire a few shots along the border and tell Mexico to do their part or pay the consequences. Adopt the attitude that anyone attempting to cross the border is a potential terrorist. In reality, they are.

    It makes no difference how long or established an illegal imigrant has been here or whether they have children born here. That is their fault, not ours, we owe them nothing for breaking the law. If theyparentis here illegally, the children born here should not automatically be considered citizens of the US. Aggressively PROSECUTE THOSE WHO HIRE ILLEGALS! No jobs for them and they won’t come.

    If there is a need for the type of labor the illegals have been filling, then set up a work permit program for them to come and perform legally. But that would require a set of mandatory wage standards, taxes, and regulations upon the amount of money they could take back to Mexico with them. If the wage standards for field work and toilet cleaning were raised to be equally competitive across the board, they may find some of the english speaking American citizens would apply. Above all, make the english language mandatory for acceptance to enter the country to work! It’s very simple. All this other nonsense they are now proposing is nothing other than vote posturing. The necessary laws already exist. Enforce them.

    The whole problem with our elected representatives is that they spend all their efforts and our money [their salaries] on campaigning rather than what they are paid to do. They are AWOL posturing for votes in their districts 90% of the time.

    It is our fault for allowing this. We are getting just what we deserve. Only we can change it by demanding that they stop wasing time and our money on unnecessary matters and get to the critical business they are ignoring.

  6. gene  May 20, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Thats great, read 7 more GIs killed today. Yep that surge thing is really working, working to get more US and Iraqis killed. I can only say I did NOT vote for this murdering bastard like so many did.

    Him and Gonzi boy together (above picture) how cozy. Wonder how Gonzi boy responds to bushidiot….”Yes master….I will do anything you wish, just please allow me the privilege to kiss your sweet presidential ass at least once aday……..Oh please master, it is what I live for”.

    These evil bastards will soon get their just rewards and its going to hurt like “HELL” because thats where they are headed. For all those that voted for this idiot president (twice) and all of his repub suck asses, your getting what YOU deserver. As for as I’m concern you can follow your leader straight to hell.

  7. long_rider  May 21, 2007 at 8:08 am

    The tragic irony of it all is, the very people these two turned their backs on, the very people who want them both out of office, people being the American citizens, are the people who will have to pay their retirement benefits. Just think, they get their salary, and medical benefits, for the rest of their lives.

    We should put a stop to this. We could not get them out of office, but we should not have to pay for that mistake. I think the American people have paid enough, with the lives of our troops, loss of national honor, and the disrespect every nation in the world has for America.

    We must come up with a way of removing officials, like the chimp and gonzo, and eliminate the party politics that kept them in office. We need to take control of our officials, when they run amuck the way this administration has.

  8. gene  May 21, 2007 at 10:04 am

    The above picture makes me literally sick to my stomach. The spineless dems continue to placate this idiot president and congress has the only power to stop this murdereous war. Bush is a lier, murderer, thief and coward.

    These evil bastards (cheney and bush) and all their butt sucking lovers are going to do something horribly drastic before the end of bushidiot’s term. Nuking a city somewhere comes to mine. This would open the door to abolish the constitution and begin a true dictatorship.

    In any case, something is being planned between now and the next elections.

  9. Joe Lawrence  May 21, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Gene says, “In any case, something is being planned between now and the next elections.”

    With the full knowledge and consent of the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, it has already happened. Of their many failures while posturing for us – the enablers – who voted for drastic change, they lost the real courage to do anything at all vis-a-vis the Bush Cabal and save our constitutional form of government.

    Their faux outrage belongs on Faus News….and we are all merely extras in the remake of the movie, ’1984.’ Somewhere, Orwell is laughing.

    I used to worry, like Gene, that they would pull some stunt to “temporarily postpone” the 2008 election, but they Roved it in the back door, ensuring they will appear to be the strong party to enough frightened voters who cannot bring themselves to trust Dems lacking the minimal courage to risk standing up to a twit like Goerge W. Bush, let alone some real threat.

    Sad.

    Joe Lawrence

  10. Donnat  May 21, 2007 at 11:32 am

    that attach to sharks. He’s pictured above with his shark.

    I can’t wait until they’re both processed and canned.
    Donnat

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