Skip to comments.Gonzales resignation this week?
Posted on 05/20/2007 10:33:51 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - 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 (news, bio, voting record). 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 (news, bio, voting record), 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 (news, bio, voting record) 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 (news, bio, voting record), 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."
Congress can turn in their own resignations at the same time. Who in the hell cares anymore?
I wish they’d all resign.
Call them patriots.
I wish theyd all resign.
The members of Congress should all be made to justify to the American citizenry WHY they should remain in their jobs. After this second attempt at amnesty and the trashing of Amercian and its people ALL FOR POLITICS (and money) they should all be impeached and thrown out.
They have TOTALLY FORGOTTEN WHO THEY WORK FOR. And what country they work for. Mexico now has a Congress and an administration in America.
The most of them need to resign... I would keep Duncan Hunter to keep things going right..
Well, at least he won’t be the next SCOTUS nominee.
You're out in favor of the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. You're 100% for the draconian elements of the Patriot Act. You're for continued Islamic immigration. Now tell us again why you don't want Specter throwing a monkey wrench into the GOP machinery that is destroying our nation? You have zero credit with patriots. Zero. Nada. Zilch. I don't like Specter myself, but he has raised some good questions about the Bush administration when others were afraid to even doubt their intentions. I'm sure that enrages you, but I know why. It's not because you care about America, it's because you're afraid your precious party will lose power.
Welcome to FR (I think).
I'm so glad he's going, if this is true. Who gives a damn if it looks like a "victory" for the Dems? Bush has been handing them victory after victory for years, so what difference does one more make?
Rip van Gonzales is the second worst AG in my memory......with you-know-who being first and Ramsey Clark chuggin' along in third.
Gonzales' legacy will be for what he never did rather than what he did do.
Gonzales is a very weak leader, explaining and apologizing for doing perfectly proper and legal firings.
The one area he’s tough, is when persecuting US Border Agents and protecting illegal alien drug smugglers.
It will be good to see Gonzales gone.
I’m giving up on this administration.
I just don’t care anymore.
Hunter / Lieberman 2008
They have not forgotten, they damn well know who they're working for and that is the problem.!!!
Seems you have come to the wrong website. We are Conservatives here. You want either Deluded Unedited or Daily Unhinged if what you are posting is really what you think.
You seem to confuse your own personal emotion based hysteria for fact. You seem to be totally confused by the US Constitution concept of separation of powers. Just because you personally have an irrational, mindless hate for the Atty General is NO reason the rest of us should simply cede all political power to a out of control Do Nothing Congress.
“You’re out in favor of the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. You’re 100% for the draconian elements of the Patriot Act.”
Is that right, Johnnie?
Arlen Sphincter best re-read the Constitution.
Oh please, you haven’t had an original thought in your life. You merely are pouting because I point out what a complete ass you are on Iraq.
W endorsed Specter back in 04 and this is the thanks he gets.