President George W. Bush on Monday accused Democrats in Congress who are seeking no-confidence votes on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of engaging in "pure political theater."
Brushing aside concerns from Republicans as well as Democrats about the effectiveness of the chief U.S. law enforcement officer, Bush said: "He has got my confidence. He has done nothing wrong."
The recent appointment of Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute as the new White House overseer of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is clearly a last-ditch effort to salvage the situation in Iraq by taking some of the control out of Pentagon hands.
In a biting rebuke, the White House on Sunday dismissed former President Jimmy Carter as "increasingly irrelevant" after his harsh criticism of President Bush.
Carter was quoted Saturday as saying "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."
The 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.
Many Bush administration critics and privacy advocates blame former Attorney General John Ashcroft for the erosion of personal freedom and loss of individual rights under the current President.
President George W. Bush on Saturday rushed to patch up a sudden rift with his most faithful Republican allies, who have supported him on Iraq but have revolted against a White House-backed immigration reform proposal.
With top conservatives crying "sellout," the president used his weekly radio address to emphasize the hurdles rather than the opportunities the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the country will have to face if they choose to legalize their status.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says his long friendship with President Bush makes it easier to say "no" to him on sticky legal issues. His critics, however, say Gonzales is far more likely to say "yes" â€” leaving the Justice Department vulnerable to a politically determined White House.
Trying to put a controversy behind it, the Bush administration was wasting no time finding a successor to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who will resign over his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend.
Wolfowitz on Thursday announced that he would step down at the end of June, his leadership undermined by a furor over the compensation he arranged in 2005 for Shaha Riza, a bank employee.
His departure ends a two-year run at the development bank that was marked by controversy from the start, given his previous role as a major architect of the Iraq war when he served as the No. 2 official at the Pentagon.
It also ends a potential political headache for President Bush, who had named Wolfowitz to the post.
Paul McNulty's resignation from the second highest job in the Justice Department couldn't have come at a worse time for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales even if the financial needs of raising a family was McNulty's primary motivation and not the political scandal swirling around the firing of the U.S. attorneys. The pressure for Gonzales to follow suit has just been turned up.
Shrugging off a possible veto from President George W. Bush, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday demanded the administration develop a plan to transfer detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.