Live-Blogging Alberto Gonzales' Press Conference

Update: The transcript of the press conference is here.


Live-Blogging Attorney General Alberto Gonzales''s News Conference on the U.S. Attorney firings. Scroll down for updates. Also check out TRex at Firedoglake.

Shorter version: I'm responsible and accountable but I'm staying on the job and will find out what happened.

2:15 p.m. Things he believes in:

The independence of the U.S. Attorneys. The AG and all all U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. He believes in the role of the Senate in the confirmation process He believes in accountability. He is responsible. He accepts responsibility. He acknowledges mistakes here and will find out what went wrong.

He's overcome a lot of obstacles to become AG. He's not going to give up. He's committed to doing his job and that is what he intends to do here.



He was aware of request two years ago to replace all U.S. Attorneys. He rejected the idea. There began a process of evaluating the performance of all of them. Who were the weak performers?

2:21 pm. He's concerned that potentially incomplete information was provided to Congress.

The mistake here is that Kyle Sampson's information was not shared with the people at DOJ who were responsible for providing information to Congress. What he knew was that Sampson was leading an effort to evaluate U.S. Attorney performance.

We do not have an adequate system of communication with the U.S. Attorneys around the country. The U.S. Attorneys under reconsideration should have been told.

He stands by the firing decision. He walks off the stage. He seemed angry.

Original Post:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to Speak With Media Today

Alberto Gonzales will make himself available to the media today.

WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales will hold a media availability TODAY, MARCH 13 at 2:00

WHERE: Department of Justice Room 5111
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.



I wonder how a blogger would qualify if not affiliated with a major news organization.

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    I'd suspect that, if the admin tosses him (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:47:03 PM EST
    it's going to be sooner, rather than later.

    My reasoning is that the longer this particular scandal festers, the more likely Congress and the Senate will start asking questions about the other illegalities (or marginally-legal legalities) Water-Boy Gonzo's been a part of.  It seems pretty certain he's already dissembled, if not lied, when he testified under oath before the Senate re the attorneys' dismissals.  When he comes back to testify again, he will be facing a crowd which does not believe him, having been clearly b's'd before.  By dumping him early, the WH can cauterize the wound and avoid worse disclosures.

    Moving on a little, RawStory has posted a .pdf of 38 pages of the documents produced at this link.  While the "Domenici's COS happy as a clam" line has and will get a lot of play, the one I found funniest was the interchange of emails between Iglesias (N.M.) and DOJ on the last page of the post.  

    Iglesias says to one of the lead henchmen:  "you may know I'll be resigning soon.  Can I use Abu Gonzo as a reference on my resume?"  
    Henchman:  "Sure.  Not a problem!  Good luck!"

    And, if one takes the time to read the documents posted, one will note clearly that Abu Gonzo will likely never see the axe coming.

    If he doesn't see it and hear it.. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:52:41 PM EST
     .. he's blind and deaf and it would probbaly be a good time to act as ifhe's dumb too. I can't possibly see anyadvantage to talking to the press at this point.

    What went wrong? (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:40:40 PM EST
    He acknowledges mistakes here and will find out what went wrong.

    You got caught, you nitwit!

    Had this been Clinton's administration, (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by fafnir on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:45:33 PM EST
    the regressives would have deep fried Janet Reno's impeached carcass on the Capitol grounds long before now.

    Impeach TortureBoy Now!

    Well, i'm starting the pool (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:41:43 PM EST
     I pick April 1st for d-day, by resignation, accompanined by some blather from Bush about his great service and devotion  and no mention of the controversies, as is the norm.

    april 1? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jen M on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    how will we know it's real?

    Which of the USA's Were Removed? (none / 0) (#23)
    by MPhilip on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:10:12 PM EST
    It is clear that some of the 8 USAs resigned; it is not clear to me whether any of them were actually removed? Otherwise stated, do you know if all of the USAs in issue resigned, or some removed?

    Do you think Congress should interview or subpeona every USA to determine whether any of them had received Domineci type calls, or a phone call or warning from the AG's office, but rather than resign they capitulated?


    If there were USA's that were Fired (none / 0) (#24)
    by MPhilip on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:17:51 PM EST
    Where is the document demonstrating that it was the President - as opposed to the AG's office - that removed the discharged USAs.

    The statute which states that the USA serves at the President's pleasure, states that it is the President that must remove them, not Mike Brown :0


    dismayed, dismayed (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:51:37 PM EST
    Gonzales is dismayed, dismayed that incomplete information may or may not have been Congress . . .

    I am shocked, shocked . . .

    So when... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by mcjoan on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:08:41 PM EST
    is ALL of TL going to be joining in on the call to impeach his sorry ass? ;-)

    the remaining US attorneys (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:14:42 PM EST
    So 8 to 10 US Attorneys were pushed out for not following the Administration's (or the Christian Right's) wishes on such matters as obscenity cases, corruption cases, and possible Dem. voter fraud.

    In the case of the remaining 80 some US attorneys, how many frivolous cases have been brought against Democrats, leftist and pornographers?  And, how many serious cases against Republicans for corruption, voter suppression, vote tampering, etc have been neglected?

    Do we now know how the vote could be stolen in Ohio in 2004 and perhaps was with Max McClellan a few years earlier?

    crime bosses running the country (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:41:02 PM EST
    Apparently in the old days and maybe current days of the Mafia, some Mafia heads would indicate to their subordinates to have certain persons killed, but do so in such an indirect, potentially ambiguous way that if there were a prosecution, they could claim they never ordered a hit. . .  Not having been part of any crime family, I don't really know how it is done, but I found this interesting:

    Bush "believes informally he may have mentioned it to the AG during the meeting discussing other matters," Perino said. "White House officials including the president did not direct DOJ to take any specific action with regards to any specific U.S. attorney."

    "I'm responsible" (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:56:31 PM EST
    Why does this phrase hold about as much meaning as a yellow "support the troops" ribbon for Republicans?

    I mean, when I think "responsible" I think of stuff like "Mao was responsible for the deaths of over 80 million Chinese." That doesn't mean that Mao was merely in office at the time that stuff happened. That doesn't mean that Mao's subordinates ran around doing things. That means that it was Mao's Great Leap Forward and he killed those people.

    performance issues (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by randomperson on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:00:48 PM EST
    If I rememeber correctly, I was under the impression that the USA's who were fired "for cause" or job peformance problems, actually received good performance reviews for the last couple years they were on the job.  Particularly, the one from Michigan and the one from Seattle.

    Also, as noted above by sailor i believe, the idea here is simple: Remove the so-called bad apples or non-team republican players, and replace them with an interim appointment that does not need to go through the advice and consent procedure. Like the guy in Little Rock who was personally picked by Karl Rove to take over as USA there. Cmon...this is just more blatant cronyism -  again - which is this administration's method of operation and its best recipe for wholesale incompetence.

    In addition, i was under the impression that historically federal judges could appoint interim u.s. attorneys until a vacancy was filled.  That is, until the patriot act changed the procedure and which now allows the Attorney General to make the interim appointments in case of emergency or some such nonsense? I wonder how the federal judges feel about this and i also wonder what sort of "emergency" could invoke these specific provisions of the patriot act.  I dont have the statutory  cite, but some guy on hardball was talking about this aspect of the scandal that is not getting much airtime (so it may be incorrect as to the specific aspect of the patriot act that deals with interim u.s. attorney appointments).

    So not only may justice have skirted the advice and consent role of the congress, but may have usurped the federal judges themselves!  

    And so it goes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by LarryE on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:03:02 PM EST
    Shorter version: I'm responsible and accountable....

    Ah yes, the creed of the powerful.

    "I take full responsibility! But, of course, none of the blame. So nothing is going to happen to me. But I courageously take full responsibility! (Oh, I'm just so brave....)"

    Yeah, it's the "system"... (4.66 / 3) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:42:50 PM EST
      ...that causes failure to communicate with both the U.S. Attorney's and Congress.

      That dog ain't gona hunt.

      hole is now deeper.

    Once again... (4.00 / 1) (#10)
    by annefrank on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:57:19 PM EST
    BushCo pulls the "communication" card to justify corruption and/or incompetence.

    Re: Yeah, (none / 0) (#16)
    by Skyho on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:53:33 PM EST
    We are focusing on the wrong part.

    Wanna get the hole deeper?

    Start asking what AGs went along with WH requests to interdict political people.  Sorta makes sense with the wiretapping (should be) scandal.  They would certainly have the "evidence".


    will he announce his resignation? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:28:57 PM EST
      our pool may never even of had a chance to get off the ground.

    your pool may not have had a chance, but (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by scribe on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:03:40 PM EST
    Intrade.com has opened two futures contracts on his resigning/being fired.  One closes March 31, and the other June 30.  It's under "current events - white house" on their site.

    I'll Bet Not (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:29:46 PM EST
    I think it's a q & a opportunity, not an announcement.

    well, if so, that should be fun (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:31:19 PM EST
      I guess the old when in a hole stop digging idea has never been big in the bush regime.

    I was wrong (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:35:55 PM EST
    it was a news conference prefaced with his comments.

    He didn't say much. (none / 0) (#11)
    by cal11 voter on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:05:49 PM EST
    If things are as he claims, he won't be leaving.

    Media credentials for bloggers.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by jerry on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:18:39 PM EST
    In your copious free time, that may be something you and the folks at FDL could address -- you folks clearly have shown a better sense of journalism during the Libby trial than a lot of the media.  If you guys can't get accredited or form a recognized blogger's accreditation than it would be very telling...

    Hell, it may even be something you could collaborate on with PJM/Malkin etc.

    Upside: improve everyone's reporting, msm and bloggers, improve access, generate some cash

    Downside: may lead to more calls for bloggers' ethics panels, may lead to resurrection of websites like onlineintegrity and the like.

    Wasn't there some guy claiming he was responsible for getting FDL into the trial as head of blogger media relations?  Don't go to him.

    Bunch of babies (none / 0) (#22)
    by Fritz on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:07:59 PM EST
    I've read the documents and have yet to find a smoking gun.  This Rove obsession is hysterical.  DOJ has every right to review and make recommendations, these babies that protest democracy because they wish to be entrenched in a job that is a Presidential appointment should be fired, what a bunch of losers.

    Still missing the point (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Sailor on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 05:10:40 PM EST
    They changed the law to allow their cronies to be appointed w/o the advice and consent of the Senate. They originally claimed it was 'not politics' and was 'performance related.'

    Then we find out that they fired USAs who were investigating corrupt federal rethugs, and not indicting state dems fast enough to suit the rethugs involved in a close election. Rethug politicians (Wilson, Domenici and others) also tried to influence investigations.

    And now, after all the caterwauling about it not being political they admit that the WH and rove were behind it. The RNC head of NM admitted complaining to rove and rove got isglesias and others fired.

    To belabor the obvious, the head of the NM republicans complained to the WH about a (republican) USA not bringing indictments on dems just before an election and the USA got fired. That's politics, not 'performance issues.'

    I don't believe Wilson's and Domenici excuses, especially after Domenici denied knowing anything about it and then had to come clean.

    BTW, the USAs would have 'exited gracefully' like the good repubs they are, until they were threatened and publicly trashed by the DoJ and the WH.

    BTW2, there is zero evidence that this purge has ever happened before in modern US history.


    holocaust denial and the current denial (none / 0) (#27)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 05:12:24 PM EST
    Holocaust denial seems to be the main motivation of the Institute for Historical Review and its Journal of Historical Review. Since 1980 this journal has been publishing articles attacking the accuracy of various claims about the Holocaust. . .

    For they never once deal with the central question of the Holocaust. They deal with details and technical issues: Were there six million or four million Jews who died or were killed? Could this particular shower have been used as a gas chamber? Were these deaths due to natural causes or not? Did Hitler issue a Final Solution order or not? If so, where is it?