Impeach Alberto Gonzales

(Again, just speaking for me, not Talk Left.)

The New York Times Editorial Page:

During the hearing on his nomination as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said he understood the difference between the job he held — President Bush’s in-house lawyer — and the job he wanted, which was to represent all Americans as their chief law enforcement officer and a key defender of the Constitution. Two years later, it is obvious Mr. Gonzales does not have a clue about the difference.

He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.

. . . It was Mr. Gonzales, after all, who repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail. He was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way. Mr. Gonzales was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it.


The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.

His Justice Department has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff.

. . . We opposed Mr. Gonzales’s nomination as attorney general. His résumé was weak, centered around producing legal briefs for Mr. Bush that assured him that the law said what he wanted it to say. More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

On Thursday, Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, hinted very obliquely that perhaps Mr. Gonzales’s time was up. We’re not going to be oblique. Mr. Bush should dismiss Mr. Gonzales and finally appoint an attorney general who will use the job to enforce the law and defend the Constitution.
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    Unlike Bush. . . (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:24:17 PM EST
    I think a good case can be made for impeaching Gonzales -- assuming Cabinet members are subject to legislative impeachment.  Are they?

    However, I think at least as good an argument can be made for disbarrment, something that I imagine could happen far more quickly and which ought to be largely free of political considerations.

    I have no idea how disbarrment is pursued, but I assume it starts with complaints being brought by other lawyers.  Are there any lawyers in the house?

    A good case can be made againmst Bush (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:29:04 PM EST
    The case against Gonzales is not only good, it could get some traction.

    Only public opinion will force Gonzales out. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cal11 voter on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:53:42 PM EST
    The New York Times is one thing.  But I think it will take the conservative media calling for his resignation before the President would act.  I don't see it now.

    So we take it out of his hands (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by baba durag on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 10:54:08 PM EST
    We emphasize the legal issues, and use the law to get at him.

    Bar Complaints and Impeachment (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by MPhilip on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 10:44:27 PM EST
    Bar Complaint:

    Any person may lodge a bar grievance against a lawyer. As you know, it was a bar complaint that resulted in the Arkansas Bar ultimatley causing  Bill Clinton to lose/give up his law license.

    Gonzales is a member of the Texas Bar. In Janauary 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a bar complaint against Gonzales regarding his conduct in having Bush stricken from Jury Duty in Texas. See here.  

    To lodge a Texas Bar grievance, click --> Regarding Complaints of Professional Misconduct Against Attorneys Licensed in Texas

    Have any further questions, start here:

    Office of the General Counsel
    State Bar of Texas
    P.O. Box 12487
    Austin, Texas 78711-2487
    (512) 463-1463
    1-800-932-1900 (toll-free)



    The Constitution grants to the House of Representatives the exclusive power to impeach "The President, the Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States." The Attorney General is a civil officer.

    Gerald Ford is quoted as saying something to the effect that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House says it is at that given time.
    There is more than probable cause to believe Gonzales has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors." Impeachment is not a criminal charge, but simply a charge that the conduct charged gives rise to an impeachable offense.

    Gonzales should be impeached and the Senate should try him in my humble opinion. To do otherwise is to affirm that the Attorney General is not only above the law, but is immune from the consequences of violating the law.


    For the record WE opposed Gonzales too (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:27:20 PM EST

    No on Gonzales
    by Armando
    Tue Jan 25, 2005 at 03:43:07 PM EST

    Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In this case, we, the undersigned bloggers, have decided to speak as one and collectively author a document of opposition. We oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General of the United States, and we urge every United States Senator to vote against him.

    As the prime legal architect for the policy of torture adopted by the Bush Administration, Gonzales's advice led directly to the abandonment of longstanding federal laws, the Geneva Conventions, and the United States Constitution itself. Our country, in following Gonzales's legal opinions, has forsaken its commitment to human rights and the rule of law and shamed itself before the world with our conduct at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. The United States, a nation founded on respect for law and human rights, should not have as its Attorney General the architect of the law's undoing.

    In January 2002, Gonzales advised the President that the United States Constitution does not apply to his actions as Commander in Chief, and thus the President could declare the Geneva Conventions inoperative. Gonzales's endorsement of the August 2002 Bybee/Yoo Memorandum approved a definition of torture so vague and evasive as to declare it nonexistent. Most shockingly, he has embraced the unacceptable view that the President has the power to ignore the Constitution, laws duly enacted by Congress and International treaties duly ratified by the United States. He has called the Geneva Conventions "quaint."

    Legal opinions at the highest level have grave consequences. What were the consequences of Gonzales's actions? The policies for which Gonzales provided a cover of legality - views which he expressly reasserted in his Senate confirmation hearings - inexorably led to abuses that have undermined military discipline and the moral authority our nation once carried. His actions led directly to documented violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and widespread abusive conduct in locales around the world.

    Michael Posner of Human Rights First observed: "After the horrific images from Abu Ghraib became public last year, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted that the world should 'judge us by our actions [and] watch how a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes.'" We agree. It is because of this that we believe the only proper course of action is for the Senate to reject Alberto Gonzales's nomination for Attorney General. As Posner notes, "[t]he world is indeed watching." Will the Senate condone torture? Will the Senate condone the rejection of the rule of law?

    With this nomination, we have arrived at a crossroads as a nation. Now is the time for all citizens of conscience to stand up and take responsibility for what the world saw, and, truly, much that we have not seen, at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. We oppose the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, and we urge the Senate to reject him.

    Test (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:27:45 PM EST
    Aye! Count my vote for impeachment (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by bobnbob on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 09:57:58 PM EST
    And I signed online petitions way back when too.  Does that count?

    Hope so - couldn't sleep last night and saw the press conference re the IG report.  No one was looking happy - no one and it was good to hear not only Durbin, but the two Repubs with him (come on, it was like 4 am) but they weren't going to say that they weren't ready to hold those in position (AG) accountable.  That seemed to be their favorite word ... accountability.  

    Gee, wish someone would have thought of that fours years ago, huh.


    I remeber. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:23:20 AM EST
    No profanity dude (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:07:17 PM EST
    Ironic I known, but watch the swear words.

    will do. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by baba durag on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:31:45 PM EST

    Philosophy (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MPhilip on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:33:14 PM EST

    You are correct, in fact we expected that Gonzales would follow Bush's philosophy: Bush is above the law. We knew this since that was his characteristic  and paper trail in Texas when he was Bush's legal hack.  

    Now that Gonzales has met our worst expectations, it is now appropriate to impeach Gonzales.

    The best analogy I can think of is the relationship between mob boss John Gotti and mob attorney Bruce Cutler, Gotti's lawyer, who was disqualified from representing Gotti in a murder case "based on the prosecution's allegations that Cutler was 'in house counsel' to the Gambino crime family.'"

    I am sure the analogy makes the point clearly.

    Oh, one more thing, the attorney general is not Bush's private counsel. He is counsel to the USA, and in that capacity he provides, among other things, opinions and advice to Bush, not cover for criminal wrongdoing. When the Attorney General acts like Gonzales, he sometimes gets indicted and sentenced to prison as did the criminal attorney general John Mitchell.

    Another great Nixon AG was Richard Gordon Kleindienst, who resigned in the "midst of the Watergate scandal," and "later was convicted of a misdemeanor for perjury during his testimony in the Senate during his confirmation hearings. He was fined and given a suspended jail sentence."


    Well, by all means (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:22:15 PM EST
    feel free to waste your time.

    Do you ever read what you write? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 10:21:08 PM EST
    Do you ever understand what you read?

    The AG is nominated by the President. Do you think any President is going to nominate one that is in philsophical disagreement with him?

    And you think because of that he needs to be impeached?

    BTW - You have impeachment on the brain. And it aint gonna happen, and you wouldn't like it if it did.

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by baba durag on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 10:56:50 PM EST
    We have impeachment on the brain because impeachment is called for.

    Baba (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 08:36:36 AM EST
    Why? Because you disagree with him?

    You have impeachment on the brain because you think the Demos gave you some power. Trust me.

    They didn't.


    I don't trust you at all (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by baba durag on Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 02:01:58 PM EST
    Not on this.

    The number of illegal acts is long - and you know it.  If anyone in the last 200+ years has risen to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" while President, it is this criminal.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:09:14 PM EST

    I know you don't want us to think you are a GOP shill, but when you write comment like this one, you really make it hard on us.


    Well gee, I sure wouldn't want to do that, ;-) (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 08:33:10 AM EST
    So, you are saying Presidents appoint people who disagree with them?

    Who knew??


    Umm (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 10:12:27 AM EST
    That's not the point of course.

    Why discourse with you seldom occurs.


    Unitary Executive Uber Alles (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:00:04 AM EST
    Shorter Jim:

    Agreement with the President is a universal defense.

    It's too bad the vast, overwhelming majority of Americans didn't see it that way during Watergate, but what do they know? They're not Social Liberals, after all.


    scar (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 08:34:36 AM EST
    Uh, it was the President who was involved there.

    And if you want to try and impeach him, have at it.


    PardonLibby.org for sale on eBay (none / 0) (#16)
    by buffjosh on Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 11:43:20 PM EST

    I just wanted to let you know that PardonLibby.org is for sale on eBay.  The auction is here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=003&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewite m=&item=130088305011&rd=1&rd=1

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#18)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:01:26 AM EST
    Oh, the fun I could have...