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With 'Friends' Like These, AG May Be in Trouble

If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in need of someone to pull him back from the edge of the political plank, he hasn't gotten any help today from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In fact, the most conservative member of the panel -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) -- just started the afternoon round of questioning by telling Gonzales to resign.

"I believe there's consequences for mistakes," Coburn lectured Gonzales, noting that the ousted U.S. attorneys don't appear to have deserved being fired and that Gonzales himself then butchered the process. "I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered, and I believe that the best way to put this behind us is your resignation."

With that, Coburn became the first Republican on the committee to call for Gonzales's ouster.

Outside of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), whose questions consisted of asking Gonzales about the sort of trips Gonzales made around the country and to the White House, none of the other Republicans on the panel has helped the attorney general.

Here's a round-up of the toughest comments and questions Gonzales faced from his own party in the morning round:

* Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): Sessions, a former U.S. attorney of almost a dozen years in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, is a rock-rib conservative on the panel, a party loyalist. He's not been happy how his prosecutor brethren were treated. But Sessions wasn't aggressively going after Gonzales in his questioning until he asked the AG about a Nov. 27 meeting Gonzales attended at which deep discussions were held about the firings. "I can only testify as to what I recall. Believe me, I've searched my mind about this meeting ... but I don't recall the contents of this meeting, senator. I'm not suggesting that the meeting did not happen," Gonzales testified. At which point a stunned Sessions said: "I'm concerned about your recollection, really, because it's not that long ago. It was an important issue. And that's troubling to me, I've got to tell you."

* Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): Somewhat of a political maverick, Graham openly questioned whether Gonzales was telling the truth about the reasons behind the firing. Graham accused Justice Department and White House advisers of firing the eight U.S. attorneys for "personality" conflicts, then making up reasons for the dismissals after the controversy blew up in their faces. "Most of this is a stretch. I think it's clear to me that some of these people just had personality conflicts with people in your office or at the White House and, you know, we made up reasons to fire them. Some of it sounds good. Some of it doesn't," Graham said.

* Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas): Brownback was the most neutral of questioners on the Republican side, but his decision to allow Gonzales to slowly walk through the rational for the firing of six of the prosecutors revealed several troubling developments. The attorney general acknowledged that, on the day of the prosecutors' dismissals, he did not know why two of the eight were fired (Daniel Bogden, the U.S. attorney for Nevada, and Margaret Chiara, the U.S. attorney for western Michigan).

* Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.): As noted in the first post from these hearings, Specter and Gonzales got off to a very rough start, bickering over the AG's preparation efforts for press conferences and hearings. But Specter went on to lay out a series of meetings and conversations Gonzales had with his staff, White House aides and President Bush -- meetings dealing with at least three of the prosecutors who were fired -- and concluded his round of questioning with this comment: "We have to evaluate whether you are really being forthright in saying that you, quote, 'should have been more precise,' close quote, when the reality is that your characterization of your participation is just significantly, if not totally, at variance with the facts."

By Paul Kane  |  April 19, 2007; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Hearing Watch , Senate  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Specter vs. Gonzales -- Round 1
Next: The AG Hearing: A Post Mortem

Comments

I beleive the AG will be asked by the White House to resign in coming weeks. He clearly showed in the today hearing he is hiding the facts and not capable to lead the AG office.

Posted by: Was | April 19, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Fire the Nazi!

Posted by: Norman Egypt | April 19, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The consequence the Attorney General deserves is dismissal - not even being allowed to resign, although the White House has yet to demonstrate the integrity to do so. That, of course, would not relieve White House aides of any moral responsibility as public servants to testify as to the political games Rove, Domenici and Bush have played - or the quality of Bush appointees, such as Wolfowitz, the next that deserves to lose his job!

Posted by: Ken Moran | April 19, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

THIS GUY NEEDS TO GO---JUST LIKE BUSH & CHENEY NEED TO GO!!!!!!!

Posted by: JIMMY | April 19, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Ba bayeeee

Posted by: billwrtr | April 19, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"On the day of the prosecutors' dismissals, he did not know why two of the eight were fired (Daniel Bogden, the U.S. attorney for Nevada, and Margaret Chiara, the U.S. attorney for western Michigan)."

How can you fire two people and not know why you are firing them? Clearly, Gonzo is NOT the real Attorney General, but just the frontman. Like a sock puppet.

Posted by: windrider | April 19, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

AG should be responsible for the mess and resign now!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Pop goes the weasel!

Posted by: Jade | April 19, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I think it's reasonable to assume that the AG was being directed by higher ups, meaning Rove, Cheney, Bush about which Attorneys to get rid of. I think he is partly being truthful when he says he had only a minimal role in the firings...the White House had the major role.

Posted by: jonsid | April 19, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

When will the search for truth and integrity be important again if not now?

Posted by: Democracy | April 19, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

So what if he was imprecise, everybody is imprecise, what is wrong with that?

Posted by: Pinocchio | April 19, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Like other bushies, the A.G. is a legal lightweight who does not have the necessary qualifications nor intellectual capacity for such responsibility. He does not even seem to comprehend that he has a duty to tell the truth to our elected officials.

Sadly, he is not much different than other Bush appoiontees. They're all doing a heckuva job!

Posted by: anon ymous | April 19, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Why do we even pretend? It's all about Bush. Alberto's just a henchman. He does what he's told to do, by Bush or Rove or whoever.

They jettison Rumsfeld. They'll probably jettison Gonzales. What difference does it make? The beat goes on as before. All important decisions are made in the inner circle of the White House -- Rove, Cheney, one or two others, and maybe Bush when he's coherent. Punishing Gonzales for incompetence and dishonesty is like punishing an attack dog for biting you, instead of the man who sicced him on you.

Everybody knows this, I expect. What a vile game they play in Washington.

Posted by: Bob Dobbs | April 19, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

We just need to have the President hold a press conference and put his arm around him saying "You're doing a great job Gonzo."

That way we can know resignation is coming quickly.

Posted by: jacobprimo | April 19, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

These cases clearly show how brilliant our president is in selecting people to serve the country. He picked people who are his close friends, not the best minds for the country. FEMA head, Harriet Myers, Mr. Gonzales, Mr. Rumsfeld, etc. He even proposed Ms. Myers and Mr. Gonzales for appointment to the Supreme Court. The elected members from the State of Utah still can not see and say the truth about the president. They are still making lame excuses for the president.

Posted by: Maung Maung | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

what friends?

Posted by: dee illuminati | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

While the AG is right that these prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the President and that the prosecutors can be terminated for any reason (political appointments can be fired without cause), it's more of a "moral" or ethical outrage that these Republicans are being fired. I suspect all of the prosecutors were doing their jobs, as witnessed by the positive performance reviews. I think the AG should be fired for botching this firing process and making it highly politicized esp when Republicans still control all branches of govt. Also, from his testimony, it's clear he doesn't have all the facts straight and is playing dodgeball.

Posted by: Rocket | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I bet shrub does not ask Gonzo to resign...Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of the whole thing. Everyone knows this was ordered "from the top" yet if Gonzales won't rat 'em out, what choice does he have except resignation.

Posted by: Brenda | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The Attorney General either has Alzheimers or is hiding something. Given the unbroken string of shenanigans from the White House, I suspect the latter. In either case, Gonzales does not deserve to continue serve as AG. He had the chance to come clean today, unfortunately he chose not to.

Posted by: Ethan Quern | April 19, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

any time senators asked gonzales a direct question, he either strayed off to another subject, or when he was really cornered, he said I can't recall, or my memory's fuzzy. I think it's an awful big coincidence that scooter libby's memory was hazy as well. Gonzales deserves to be dismissed.

Posted by: guy | April 19, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It is items such as this that makes me sad and angry. How can someone confirmed in such an important position in our government be this incompetent. If he doesn't resign then he sould be fired. NOW

Posted by: Bob N | April 19, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Over and over it's been shown that this President places loyalty over competence.

I'm just so very grateful, now more than ever, that Harriet Miers didn't get on the Supreme Court.

My goodness, America dodged a bullet there.

Posted by: David | April 19, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he should resign and no, he is not responsible. The AG is a loyal Bushie, firing the USAs was probably not his idea, he was just following orders. This whole thing is not about the illegality of the firings. It is about turning the USA's into an arm of the Republican party. This is, no doubt, one of the steps Karl Rove was thinking of when he imagined a "permanent Republican majority."

Posted by: nisleib | April 19, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Daily Show will be most excellent in the coming days, no?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

sadly windrider, Pets.com had sold their iconic sockpuppet off before it could be considered as a replacement for the equally revolting Ashcroft.
Harriet - we know you're going to be involved in deliberations deciding on Alberto's replacement... might i suggest Baghdad Bob?

Posted by: Quintilius Varus | April 19, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Procescute! Obstruction!

Posted by: kraig | April 19, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

To say something is wrong with our AG is to say something is wrong with our President. Asking him to vacate his office is act of betrayal against the country. He should use his usual means to fire people who question him. Questioning the holy agenda of the sacred and venerated Justice Department is a crime worth punishable by means impermissible constitutionally. Let him send those who question him to Cuba, Syria, and Israel so that proper interrogation can undertake and reveal the motives of these seekers of justice. Bush is justice; nothing else matters. Long live Bush! Long live AG Gangjealous! Long live our beautiful lies!

Posted by: Nothingrong | April 19, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It has to be hard to be Attorney General in a hypocritical nation like the United States, where we praise the sanctity of life and consign our disabled to slavery if they cannot pay their medical bills. The hypocrisy is what it is, and we as Americans at some point have to realize the political puppet games that politicians play with us to maintain a facade of order and decorum.

Gonzales is doing his part as a rough and tumble Texan lawyer for his country as he sees fit, but he isn't having any success in explaining how he ended up where he is because the system isn't backing him up anymore.

My questions have more to do with the level of corruption that Gonzales highlights, and how deeply this corruption permeates government at the highest levels in this country. Is Gonzales the sacrificial lamb that protects the sacred cow? If so, wouldn't it be better to restore integrity in governance by allowing the President to fall on his sword and let Cheney run the show for a bit?

With the Bush/Saudi connections, and the present price of oil, is it not time to ask if indeed we are all paying a war tax at the gas pumps? Is the sacking of 8 lawyers in any way related to why Gonzales has failed to investigate oil companies that have gouged the American people and recorded banner profits? Were these 8 lawyers looking at oil companies and got caught?

It seems to me that the difference in our nation's policies toward the poor and disabled do extend to everyone else, and at some level even the most savvy of politicos knows the truth will follow them home.

Gonzales will have to resign. It is a given, but it is a sad commentary that this administration will sacrifice him in this way to defer the questions which history will visit upon it.

Posted by: Bill Freeman | April 19, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The AG is but a symptom of the reckless arrogance of this administration. Gonzales should not resign. He should be sacked.

Posted by: Jim Patterson | April 19, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

With this kind of memory how did Gonzales get though law school? How many times can we listen to and believe "I cannot recall"? This is another coverup - of gigantic proportions. And this is likely the 'tip of the iceberg' in terms of the mess the justice dept is in - and the meddling that has gone on by the politicos at the White House. How much more do we need to truly take this administration to task and to start the impeacment process - for Bush and Cheney?!!!!!

Posted by: Mary Ellen | April 19, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I just finished listening to testimony on NPR. Mr. Gonzales answered "I don't know" to over 100 questions. There was a great dearth of information that was asked for that Goznales and with which Mr. G. was not forthcoming, and, presumably, not honest. It is obvious to me that the white house has been running the justice dept with the aid of Mr. G. It is practically criminal conduct on his part. It definitely shows incompetence on both Mr. G.'s part, and on the part of Mr. Bush.

Posted by: Jerry Lewis | April 19, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

AG has to go just asd Sen Specter should be indicted for allowing the overnight patriot act provision that allowed the firings without senate approval. He was the head of the committee when these political purges ocurred in the middle of
important corruption investigations by the fired us attourneys.

Posted by: Ed | April 19, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I have worked in management. Firing somebody is a gut wrenching decision, even when the person in question deserves it. I'm incredulous that this guy was going to turn over nearly 10% of his top prosecutors and he either cannot recall or is trying to tell us he was not involved in the decisions in a meaningful way. Political philosophy disagreements aside, Gonzales has to go if for no other reason than being an inept, uninvolved manager (Kind of like the guy he works for). What else is happening in Justice that we don't know about?

Posted by: Mark M | April 19, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

AG Gonzales should be fired along with Johnny Sutton for sending two border patrol agents to prison!

Posted by: jim57 | April 19, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

This AG really needs to be pushed out the back door of anything to do with the law, much less the highest seat of the law.

His memory lost leaves to question his fitness to be in this or any other office. His thinking that the constratution is murky, questions he right to even be in Government...

Maybe he should move to Mexico....

Posted by: Judith | April 19, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe there is such an uproar over a firing of 8 US attorneys. Especially when the previous president's AG fired all 93 of the US attorneys at the beginning. To me it should not matter why they were fired. Looks like a double standard.

Posted by: rick | April 19, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I resent the term Nazi! The AG should never have had the job to begin with. I believe his app. was a mistake from the get go, he has no guts.

Posted by: Old Chief | April 19, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was telling how little Rove was spoken of. Also, when confronted by lawyers with prosecutorial experience, AG folded. Ya see, where we come from, words don't mean anything. We didn't have a meeting, we had a visit. I decided but I wasn't responsible, I am responsible cause I signed off on their recommendations, which I didn't read. Ya see, we all had concerns, we expressed them, but , no, we never Told her our concerns. Blah blah, impeach these clowns!

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 19, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

C'mon people, you're ignoring the real issue.

BILL CLINTON LIED ABOUT HIS AFFAIR WITH MONICA LEWINSKI!!!!

Can we please forget all about the lying, political machinations, the horrible death toll and the desctruction of our country to focus on the important issues?

Posted by: Denver Dave | April 19, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

As an AG style- he does not surround himself with yes men. He has those from the right and those from the left in his staff and daily meeting. He actually allows staff- even those he did not hire to advise in staff meetings. He really asks questions and wants real answers. Only some one who is an extremely arrogant or stupid can find delegating to a staff a fault.

We are in a War- these people had complaints - were insubordinate or otherwise were unable to deal with their own staff. Get ride of them- this is not where I want a War Time AG putting his energy. His eye should be on the ball of those who seek to cause terror against the US. ON THAT SCORE WE HAVE CRACKED A LOT OF CASES WITH INTELLIGENCE AND HAVE NOT BEEN HIT AGAIN -- BRAVO

Posted by: mam | April 19, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I want to be the next attorney general. I can do a better job than that guy, and I know diddley-squat about the law.

I want his job. Where do I send my resume?

Posted by: Jim | April 19, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I love the Administration`s predicament-
if they fire Gonzo they basically concede their
critic`s point that he is incompetent or worse.
They also have their work cut out in trying to
find anyone who wants a short-term job working
for Bush, Rove and Cheney. If they keep him the
stench of scandal continues to cast a pall over
the entire Administration. Hey, life doesn`t
get much sweeter than this.

Posted by: hairguy01 | April 19, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

About the phrase "at the pleasure of the President"...THE ONLY PLEASURE THE PRES is allowed is to SERVE the highest and best interest of the citizens of the U S A.His personal pleasure must take a back seat.
That is the reason why we grant him the high Power, Prestige, and Position at the outset.He must not question the Nation's will. If he cannot lead, then he must let someone who can, do it.
The Congress is ready, willing and able to take it from here...this inspite of their traditional reputation as the weak link.

Posted by: NAH BOB | April 19, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It is time to move Bob Gates to the Justice Dept. He can clean up the management ranks of the Dept and of the FBI.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

This is one of the most corrupt and misleading administrations we ever had. It is a shame that decisions made by this misleading administration, based on fabricated facts, have caused so much loss of life in the US and Iraq.

This admnistration's claim to fame was to restore the moral character of the office. But, what they have shown is how far they are willing to push the law to oust anybody who disagrees with their policies (i.e. Valery Plame.) His father said that anybody who would identify a CIA undercover employee should be sent to jail; but nothing happened, and we still have the same people running the country.

This is what happens when the election process is defined by the amount of money a candiate is able to raise and not the competency and ethics he/she has. Fortunately, the country's political infrastructure is so advanced and solid that it is able to survive the high level of incomptence and lack of ethical character shown by these people.

This administration reminds me of Latin governments, the difference is the US has a system that more or less works.

Their strategy has been loyalty over compentency and ethics. The AG should be fired, not be allowed to resign. But we all know what is going to happen and Karl Rove will continue to run the Justice Department ensuring his friends and political chronies are in place.

Posted by: Alvaro Castro | April 19, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It is time to move Bob Gates to the Justice Dept. He can clean out the management ranks of the DOJ and of the FBI. Gonzales does not have what it takes to run a clean and efficient Government organization.

Posted by: Ranjit | April 19, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Gonzo pretty much cinched the case against himself today, by re-enforcing his lack of credibility. He also admitted talking to Duhbya and Porkrind about attorney firings. let the subpoenas begin...Heehehehe

ps: The dark one is still lurking in the background...The shadow knows...

Posted by: geezerpower | April 19, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

It is time to move Bob Gates to the Justice Dept. - even if we do it on a temporary basis. He can clean out the management ranks of the DOJ and of the FBI. Gonzales does not have what it takes to run a clean and efficient Government organization.

Posted by: Ranjit | April 19, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Meet the I-CANNOT-RECALL gang: Gonzo, Wolfo, Scooter, Rummy (well, at least he's gone!), Condi (remember her testifying or, pardon me, cannot-recalling before the 9/11 committee?), Hastert (couldn't recall being told about the page harrassment)... I'm willing to bet old Dub cannot recall "Mission Accomplished," and the Dick cannot recall that he was absolutely certain that Saddum had weapons of mass destruction... and so it goes: CANNOT RECALL or take the Fifth. I think thay should all be hung out to dry. The lot of them.

Posted by: judas | April 19, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

In an abundance of water the fool is thirsty. He should resign.

Posted by: dp | April 19, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This guy sold out the American public and the Justice Department for the Bush administration. This cannot be aloud. As a country we cannot turn a blind eye to this and many other anti American activities by this JD and Bush Admin. If we choose not to eliminate these people from office our country could go down a road that will turn into fascism.

Posted by: AC | April 19, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

AG is a puppet like Bush only probably a lot smarter. Democrats please subpoena Cheney and Rove. They call the shots.

Posted by: Russ Mugnaini | April 19, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The gumming to death strategy was as big a failure as the troop surge has been.

Gonzales must go, as well as top staff. Let's get a credible replacement. Team Bush doesn't gets their pick this time around.

Posted by: patience | April 19, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

What is it with Republicans and the "Reagan Defense?" Reagan could get away with saying "I don't remember." The man was senile! All Republicans can't be senile, can they?

Posted by: nisleib | April 19, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

why are we beating around the Bush by questioning Gonzalez? He is just a puppet for Cheney and Rove (Bush is too dumb to be a puppetmaster). If you want to get at the real problem, impeach Cheney and Rove.

Posted by: Kelly | April 19, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

This is fascinating. I count exactly two notes here in support
of the AG. Out of about 45. Even given the alleged liberal
media bias (yeah, yeah ...) this is way out of proportion from
what's usually found here.

Assuming we're a cross-section of the general population,
Bush would not appear to be doing himself any good by
putting off the inevitable.

Posted by: Jim's Neighbor | April 19, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

We know that Cheney has his hand up Bush's rear in puppet fashion but who is Gonzo's puppet master? Guess Cheney does have two hands, huh?

Posted by: agileone | April 19, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Bush will finally ask Gonzales to resign, and then nominate Harriet Miers to be the next AG. Bush can make Gonzales his new War Czar.

Posted by: Rodney Lamprey, jr. | April 19, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Worse yet, this is the first time a AG perjured himself before the YouTube crowd. This is an unprecedented debacle and the copyright of CSPAN is fair use, no corporate interests at stake or Copyright protection lawyers to squelch this issue.

This has legs as a story and will continue to unfold as the Lam/Doolittle drama moves forward.

The amnesia especially after weeks of preparing to tell the truth, was laughable, I might have respected him for taking the fifth, but listened to his responses and realized that this was a moment when people will remember where they were at when they heard the testimony.


Posted by: dee illuminati | April 19, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Will this administration ever come down hard on any of its appointees. The answer is,NO. We only have a short time until the 43 Reich is ousted. The lame duck swims in a shallow pond.

Posted by: Zac R. | April 19, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"I can't recall"...

Get rid of this guy. I have a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice. This is CJ 101. This guy is an IDIOT !! How do people like this get these jobs?

A New Hampshire taxpayer and 18 year state employee.

Posted by: Patriot | April 19, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Gonzales blew it.

Senator Hatch was pathetic. Thanks for trotting out the old "Clinton fired all 93 US Attorneys" line- DUH Senator, EVERY new administration does that at the start of their first term.

Utah, what is wrong with you?

Posted by: Maria | April 19, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Until someone can explain why it is a greater offense to fire 8 A.G.'s than 93, you can just stick your liberal comments where they belong!!

Posted by: Tom | April 19, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

There's more of that coming: I can't recall. Wait till they subpoena Bush's bald brain to testify under oath about the deleted emails... there'll be a string of I-can't-recalls.

Posted by: judas | April 19, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Harvard must be a really bad grad school if George Bush is an example of their MBA program and Alberto Gonzales their Juris Doctorate law program. How did these guys get degrees? How did they get in? OK George's family gave them money, but Gonzales?

Today's testimony was pathetic. Hard to believe this guy even was a graduate of a Tier 4 law school like Monica Goodling.

Posted by: LInda * | April 19, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Why should Gonzales have any recollection about who he hires or fires? He is simply a loyal order-taker. Ask Karl.

Posted by: JKoch | April 19, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

rick, rick, rick...get with the program. reagan fired 93 carter us attorneys, bush 1 fired most of reagan's, clinton fired all 93 from bush 1, bush 2 fired all from clinton. it is customary for incoming presidents to replace all us attorneys at the beginning of their first term.

bush 2 took the unprecedented action of firing these 8 in his second term. hadn't happened before. if you don't know this by now, then clearly you display the competence to get a senior post in the current administration.

Posted by: lonesomerobot | April 19, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Tom, please pay some attention to the subject at hand.
Reagan, Bush Senior, Clinton and Bush Jr all replaced all or virtually all of the Ag's at the beginning of their term.
So please stay on the page.
That argument was trotted out and quickly abandoned by the Administration apologists a long time ago.
It's fine to not agree with the subject at hand, indeed many do (I find it to be a pretty blinkered position, but WTH), do so from at least some position that can or could be defended.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Consider the American roster--i.e. the leaders of the free world:
White House, G.W. Bush, DOS Rice, DOJ Gonzales. The leaders of the free world. Feel better? How did we get here?

Posted by: Ireni e | April 19, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

This affair is just one part of the administration's effort to deepen the politicization of the executive bureaucracy, and so secure its subordination/service to the administration's "political machine". Connect the Pearl Harbor Day firings with the pattern that goes back at least to the 2002 replacement of the U. S. Attorney in Guam [who was investigating "their" people (Abramoff, et al.)]. He was replaced with a relative of one of the folks under investigation.

Here, Lam is purged for taking down some of their key players, and a partisan is installed in Arkansas in advance of the '08 election [for rear-guard action in case of a Hillary candidacy? to help or hinder a Huckabee run?] Basically, they want to turn the executive bureaucracy into an instrument of their political machine. It's not even "partisan," since those purged are all Republicans.

Posted by: CalTex | April 19, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Hi Maria -

you noted that "Senator Hatch was pathetic." He wants the job - no sense riling up the White House, who'll do the appointing, or appearing to try to sink Gonzales to open up the position - the other guys were handling it ok without him. At least he'd probably sail through the confirmation hearings.

Posted by: Jude | April 19, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

By now we should all be aware that the IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE. Bush's refusal to fire Donald Rumsfeld until it was WAY too late is a good example. Even though Rumsfeld's lousy policies and lousy leadership resulted in the deaths of many Americans and Iraqis, Bush refused to hold him accountable for his screw-ups. Gonzales will stay because our president only fires people who are disloyal to the administration. Like the eight US Attorneys. They can be disloyal to America or to the rule of law or to the Constitution--that's just fine. As long as they're loyal to the president, anything goes. This is as corrupt an administration as I have ever seen.

Posted by: Mark F. | April 19, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

By the way, is Arlen Specter the most spineless dolt on the planet? He's all tough talk until it's time to take action. Then he's all tough talk. What a worthless putz.

Posted by: Mark F. | April 19, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

LONESOMEROBOT, LONSOMEROBOT, LONSOMEROBOT,,,YOU ARE MISSING THE BOAT CHUMP,,,,,,,GONZO FIRED THESE U S ATTORNEYS BECAUSE OF POLITICS,,,,ONE OF THESE CONVICTED RANDY CUNNINGHAM,,,,,,,LONSOME ROBOT, YOU MUST BE ANOTHER GOP STOOGE, OR A BUSH MONKEY

Posted by: BUBBACHUMPSTER | April 19, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

AG definately needs to go. No other choices !!!

Posted by: JC | April 19, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. Attorney General is ?
I do not remember my comment.
Perhaps I can be his replacement.

Posted by: Tommy | April 19, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

This is a BUNCH OF CRAB, the big man is behind this, Gonzo is hanging on a string, afraid to point fingers and say something. It's all POLITICAL and COVERUP.

Posted by: ANN | April 19, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

yes possible they are asking him to resign to be the fall guy for higher ups

Posted by: gatriot act | April 19, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Although I believe he is an honorable man.....he is being hung out to dry - as was Colin Powell....let us remember that RFK played a similar role in the Kennedy adm.....the difference being that Gonzalez may still be taking directions from the Bush whitehouse team
He,unfortunately, seems to be- like the Prez- not very competent... a case of Affirmative Action gone awry!!!

Posted by: Dr Aubrey W Bonnett | April 19, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

This administration is quite possible one of the most corrupt and scary of any administration in American history. How can we impeach the whole rotten core of these lairs?

Posted by: t golstch | April 19, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Gonzales should be ashamed of representing the White House, and not the people. If he wants to regain his self-respect, he should realize that if he would admit the truth, it would set him free.

Posted by: Mike R. | April 19, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

three III's. Indict, Impeach, Incarcerate. GWB and cronies MUST go ASAP. Please Help save the USA.

Posted by: Greg | April 19, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Almost 2 more years to go before the farce can be over. The Republican ship of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt needs a lengthy timeout to clean its bilges - and maybe terminate a few war profiteers. As long as its political process is driven by the proletarian dictatorship of AM radio, US democracy will teeter at the brink. The world waits.

Posted by: David Pulleyblank | April 19, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

May be A G should get in line for jobs americans do not want. The chicken producers in Deleware are hiring!!!

Posted by: Joe | April 19, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Alberto Gonzalez has shamed the profession of the Prosecutor. Today he played every trick he could to keep from telling the truth. Man any grand jury would have indicted him for aggravated perjury long ago. Its a sad thing to say that about America's prosecution team.

Posted by: sonia38 | April 19, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Leahy and Specter summed up admirably when they appeared after the hearing on the PBS News Hour. Leahy thinks Gonzales is corrupt, and an idiot. Specter disagrees and thinks Gonzales is one hundred percent idiot. Both agree that the Dept of Justice has been severely politicized and damaged. Is Gonzales now searching for a sword to cast himself upon? Give his mental capacities, it may take him quite a while. What is now obvious is that Rove and Cheney are the go-to guys in the Administration, the rest are marionettes.

Posted by: John Yoo | April 19, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It was his decision to fire the 8, but he can't provide any explanation for why he fired two of them. Give me a break. That alone should get the AG fired.

He (and apparently no one else that has testified) can explain how the 8 got on the list. I think I smell Karl Rove. Let's hope the judiciary committee keeps the presure on and completes this investigation.

Posted by: Jon | April 19, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The Gonzo pool is now open: I pick 4/27/07 for his resignation date "to spend more time with the family."

Posted by: steve | April 19, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Forget Gonzales, when will Bush be fired?

Posted by: 5ES | April 19, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I have been following this saga from Portugal. If this man was a Japanese politician he would have committed suicide(hari kari) by now. He«'s no longer competent for the job and he's not even competent in his own defence.The President must have told him to stick it out(as he is) or he lacks moral honour.
Sincerely.
John T.

Posted by: John T. | April 19, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmm.. Didn't Monica Lewinsky serve at the pleasure of the President?

But seriously folks.. All of Gonzo's "I can't recall" and "fuzzy memory" sounds exactly like "Scooter." And he deserves the same fate!

Posted by: Double Live Gonzo! | April 19, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey all you bozos!! CAN ANY of you remember the contents of meeting you were in on November 27th?????? ok, then shut up! you people all make me sick. AG did nothing!! and you guys would like to see him hang...an honest and honorable man lacks the memory to instantly recall with perfect recollection the events of ONE 10 min. meeting and he's good as the devil himself...probably right up there with Mr. cho right?? get a life!! all of you!!


Posted by: Keith E. | April 19, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

What a pitiable little mediocrity he is. It would be tempting to feel sorry for the poor little man, in so deep over his head, but then one remembers how hard Gonzales worked on behalf of legal torture and the tears dry up. As for Keith of the many question marks, yes I can remember meetings month ago, even years ago, if they were important. And if Gonzales cannot remember important meetings in the recent past, why, that is even more reason for him to go.

Posted by: Chris Fox | April 19, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I read all these posts and agree with the idea that bush is a puppet of rove and cheney. With any luck, cheney will do the nation a favor and have one of his heart attacks in office and preferrably sooner than later.

At any rate the entire administration should be expelled...forcefully if necessary.

Posted by: k13rvj | April 19, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Keith E: Yes, as a matter of fact, I can remember very clearly
exactly what I did and said in a meeting on 27 November. I had
to scroll back through my email to determine what meeting I
had on that day and who I was meeting with. But once I had
the topic and participants, it was easy to remember what we
discussed and decided.

And it's not like I have some giant brain or anything. The Monday
after Thanksgiving was just not all that long ago.

Posted by: jim's neighbor | April 19, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Lindsey Grahms a political maverick...snarf---too funny,

Posted by: Bob | April 19, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

One reason the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are getting testy is that the electoral clock is ticking and each Senator except for Hatch has to live in the real political world. The Republican party is suffering huge and systemic damage by a host of intractable problems brought on by the arrogance and incompetence of the Bush Whitehouse. The party may suffer the worst drubbing they have experienced since the 1930s. I can not think of any event that may salvage or disturb the trend line to electoral oblivion. If there were *victory* in Iraq it might help but not by much and realistically that is a forlorn hope. Gonzales was a confused and weak performer today and raised more questions than he answered. By omission he has laid a path to the Whitehouse as the origin of the US Attorney dismissals. That was not smart. If I were Bush I would have the AGs testicles delivered to my desk in the morning.

Posted by: Redman | April 19, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I just feel sorry for a bunch of minorities (race, of course) in the Bush Administration. They are all being used by Bush, Chenney, and Rove. The sad part is that they are all willing and happy to let these people use them. Starting with Powell, then Condi, and now Alberto...and the list will go on as long as this trio stays in office. It's amazing there're people who're willing to lose their characters, integrity, reputation,..., just to satisfy this trio. How do they do it?

Posted by: Anthony | April 19, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I remember every meeting where I have been asked to fire someone. It is never a pleasant experience. Unlike Gonzo, I want to know the reasons why the person should be fired and I would be able to tell you what they were. That's just good management paired with a sober mind. If it was not my decision to fire them and I simply didn't care whether the firing was just, I suppose my memory would be fuzzy just like Gonzo's. Oddly, he did not fire his chief of staff even though he seemed to testify today that his chief of staff fired the AG's against his expressed wishes! What??? Gonzo tells his right-hand man NOT to fire the AG's and the guy does it anyway? That is only one steamer that Gonzo excreted today. The other is that he DID approve the firings, (but can't remember why). Gonzo is either a living example of the Peter Principle or he's lying. Either, show him the door. He is a small town attorney with good friends who have put him in WAY over his head. He should resign to short-circuit this farce. If he doesn't he should be fired. If he isn't fired, the hearings will continue and more contradictions will surface and more malfeasance will be exposed until Gonzo resigns from sheer embarrassment.

Posted by: Stevarino | April 19, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, I've fired people because I was told to fire them. Not knowing why can make it easier. What can they ask if you say up front "I don't know why and I can't negotiate?"

Posted by: makito | April 19, 2007 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Bush does not DARE fire Gonzales, nor let him resign, because he knows he won*t get another toady confirmed as the replacement AG. He would have to nominate someone with real legal experience, and someone who knows that the DOJ must serve the people first, not the president, not the party. Where would he find such a nominee? Even worse for Bush, a REAL AG might clean house of some of those loyal but totally inexperienced staffers, and the DOJ might actually start doing its job on things like civil rights protection, corruption investigations stemming from Abramoff*s buyout of Republican politicians, etc. Now we can't have that, can we?

Posted by: windrider | April 19, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting the new technique of calling a lie a "misstatement" or I 'misspoke," as if the speaker's lips somehow were out of synch with his mind. It's not as if Fredo was asked to repeat quickly "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper." If he is still AG in a month's time, the US should bring back Rummy, Brownie and Harriet, because there will be no sense of shame left.

Posted by: geoffrey james | April 19, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

bushie, chenie, rovie, albertie...will we ever be rid of the neoconistic delusionists???

Posted by: Terry B. | April 19, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senatorial_courtesy
Congress is doing what it has done from the start - keeping its' powers and protecting its' interest - for both sides

In the United States, senatorial courtesy is the custom whereby the Senate will refuse to confirm any Presidential appointments if objections are raised by either

the senior Senator of the President's political party, or
the Senators from the state to which the appointment applies.
Senatorial Courtesy is strictly observed in connection with federal district court judgeships, U. S. Attorneys, and federal marshals

Posted by: Dr. Peter Pflaum | April 19, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Gonzalez is a really nice guy who is in 'way over his head & trying to be loyal. It is inconceivable that he would have so many mind lapses; if true, it means someone else is running the store. Kinda looks like his toast was buttered today --- or is that his butt was toasted?

Posted by: chagres | April 19, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

For those who disbelieve Gonzalez's claim not to recall key meetings:
How could Gonzalez not remember these important meetings?
By being too incompetent to understand that they were important, too incompetent, too lacking in understanding the law and history to understand the significance of the action.
Thus, his claim may be true.

The incompetence and inexperience at highest levels of government is less damaging than the unseen installation of incompetence permeating all levels.

Posted by: jlarkin | April 19, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

There is a real simple solution to this mess.
Gonzo should immediately indict Rove for treason.

Posted by: SpaceLifeForm | April 20, 2007 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I am not here when I am here.
I was not there when I was there.
I make decisions but do not decide.
I take responsibility but never blame.
I will correct mistakes that no one made.
I will stay.
I am not here when I am here.

Who am I?


Posted by: mellowloti | April 20, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Great testimony from the AG. He had good reasons to fire them, though he didn't know some of the reasons at the time. So, he shouldn't resign for politically motivated firings, he should resign because he is grossly incompetent.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I watched the hearing yesterday, I couldnt believe how little this putz remembered. Over and over and over again he kept saying he didnt recall. What a lost cause. He was hopeless, a lair covering up for others who made himself look terribly incompetent.

Posted by: dodoAlbo | April 20, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Attorney General Gonzales displayed a remarkable lack of knowledge about key actions under his watch, such as why two of the USAs were fired, and a memory loss about a November, 2006 meeting.

For an individual in charge of 100,000+ employees, this memory loss is suspect regarding the top members of his staff. If these individual weren't acting according to his directives, Gonzales wasn't running as tight a ship as one would expect of someone in his high, very important public position.

Our Attorney General is either incompetent or participating in a coverup. No matter the truth of the situation, he should either resign or be relieved of command, as he is not performing his duties adequately or appropriately.

Posted by: BonnieD | April 20, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I was going to post something but I find I can*t recall what it was.

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | April 20, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

When Alberto is running the DOJ does he tell is staff dozens of times per day: I cannot remember discussing that. How can a lawyer with amnesia and no principles be expected to run the DOJ?

Posted by: Robert James | April 20, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Gonzo will not be fired because he is a buffer protecting the White House. As long as he continues to do this, he will be useful to the administration because he protects Rove (Cheney is too busy trying to figure out a way to invade Iran to be bothered with this). The twig is too lacking in intelligence to be able to provide any input into this quagmire.
If Congress can get someone within the inner sactum that has firsthand knowledge to reveal what they know about this mess, then all bets are off and all the rats will start to abandon ship.

Posted by: Randy6000 | April 21, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Having once been deemed an expert witness in state,city and federal courts, I know the difference between testifying and TESTI-LYING. The testimony of the AG should be used as a training model of TESTILYING, or how not to look so bad on the witness stand. Anyone willing to stand behind the AG after his very poor and highly suspicious performance; is begging to also be looked at in a very suspicious manner.

Posted by: R. Ford | April 21, 2007 1:41 AM | Report abuse

You don't get it. Gonzales had three choices. 1. Tell the truth. 2. Lie. 3. Not recall. Remember he was under oath. He couldn't tell the truth because that would expose the White House political agenda for firing the attornies. He couldn't lie because that would put on the Libby path to jail for lying under oath to the congress - a felony. So he had to feign amnesia. Better to be seen as an idiot than a felonious liar or disloyal to the White House. An honorable man would have told the truth, but Gonzales chose to do one last service for George Bush and guarentee himself an undeservedly lucrative job after he leaves Washington. Unfortunately the Bushies only sometimes reward loyalty so Gonzales is gambling on his ultimate reward.

Posted by: gail | April 21, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Gonzales had to forget what happended at the key meeting with his staff that finalized the firings. To tell the truth would have shown the world that the attornies were fired for purely political reasons.

The underlying political strategy is to replace the independent federal attornies with political hacks that will exclusively investigate Democrats in the run up to the 2008 elections. No evidence will be necessary - inuendo will suffice.

Posted by: gail | April 21, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

If this were early in Shrub's Presidency we might start to wonder if nominations like Harriet Myers and Alberto Gonzales just meant he mistook loyal lightweights for heavyweights with the gravitas to lead the nation. But now we know otherwise. Choosing such lightweights this far into his Presidency is far more worrisome. It suggests the desire for nominating "placeholders" who will do the bidding of the inner circle around Bush. Everytime Gonzales said "I can't remember" or one of its variations I pictured Bush doing the same thing. Neither is among the great thinkers (or apparently rememberers) of our time. But hey, birds of a feather...

Posted by: CB | April 22, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

This AG has listened and did the WH bidding instead of listening to the people and now he has bidded himself right out of a job. Thank goodness. He upheld the violation of our rights by allowing no FISA courts for the FBI and he has allowed citizens to be tormented when the government has wanted them to shut up about something. He needs to go back to the hole in Texas that he crawed from and take his mentor the President with him.

Posted by: midnightladyNC | April 23, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Tom, it is not uncommon for a new adminsitration to fire and rehire AG's at the beginning of their term(s) in office. What is unusual is for them to do so mid term. Further, they were asked about it and lied about it. Now, I don't know about you but just on the face of all this, I have a problem. Maybe nothing they did was wrong by law, but you have to admit, it sure becomes questionable. First we are told that it was bad job performance, then their performance records were made public and all received high marks. So, Gonzo lied again as to the justification of their firing. What APPEARS to be the case is that the firings were done for political reasons only because these certain AG's were not doing what the WH wanted - screw the law, they were not doing what the WH wanted - gotta go! Now, I don't know about you but if you cannot see a problem with that then there is not talking to you, you are way to far gone to ever return. Drink you koolaide and we will take care of making certain that our judicial system is not corrupt and yes, you will benefit but thats okay, some folks were meant just to do no more in life than drink up, so, drink up!

Posted by: Kathy | April 23, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It is really a deadly shame that George W. Bush has decided that his manhood is dependent upon always being right, never admitting mistakes even when they are glaring, and taking everyone down with him just to complete this little charade. Has there ever been anyone so unqualified to be in such a position of power? I sure hope that a majority of those who voted this very flawed man into office deeply regrets it at this point. If not, we are goners as far as democracy is concerned.

Posted by: Tish Pearlman | April 23, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gov Gap video that Slams DOJ testimony:

http://www.govgap.com

Posted by: Ethan Olivia | April 24, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

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