Gonzales Resignation Watch

Ken AshfordAttorney FiringsLeave a Comment

I have little to say about this.  By all accounts, he tanked yesterday.  His story was a concoction of "mea culpa" combined with "I’m not responsible" combined with "I don’t recall".  Bottom line is that Gonzales is either lying about his role in the U.S. Attorney firings, or he is incompetent in that he was "out of the loop" about the firings.

He was so bad that Republican senators on the committee openly suggested that he should resign.  In fact, he was so bad that one (unnamed) White House people insider said that his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was like "clubbing a baby seal" and that his tesimony was "going down in flames".  Ouch.

The official White House statement given late yesterday is one of unflinching support for Gonzales, but it doesn’t take much to see that his resignation is imminent.  I would expect it today, or possibly tomorrow.  There’s no way he can survive.

Too bad I’m not a betting man.

UPDATE:  The New York Times is rather blunt about Gonzales’s performance yesterday, beginning with:

If Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had gone to the Senate yesterday to convince the world that he ought to be fired, it’s hard to imagine how he could have done a better job, short of simply admitting the obvious: that the firing of eight United States attorneys was a partisan purge.

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch.

and ending with:

We don’t yet know whether Mr. Gonzales is merely so incompetent that he should be fired immediately, or whether he is covering something up.

But if we believe the testimony that neither he nor any other senior Justice Department official was calling the shots on the purge, then the public needs to know who was. That is why the Judiciary Committee must stick to its insistence that Mr. Rove, Ms. Miers and other White House officials testify in public and under oath and that all documents be turned over to Congress, including e-mail messages by Mr. Rove that the Republican Party has yet to produce.