Tag: Alberto Gonzales (page 2)

Early take on potential Attorney General Nominees

These are three names being floated as potential nominees to be Attorney General, in alphabetical order:

Michael Chertoff, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Robert S. Meuller III, Director, FBI

Frances Fragos Townsend, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Readers can see their bios at the above links.

My take:

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Bush and Alberto Gonzales: Live Resignation Statements

Update: Bush Live Statement: (Not a transcript, just live-blogging.)

Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. I have reluctantly accepted his resignation with appreciation for his service. He has played a critical role in the war on terror, in developing the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. He made enforcement of civil rights laws a top priority. He did great on child sex crimes and in fighting corruption. He played a leading role in selecting Justices Alito and Roberts.

He has become a close friend. He and his family have sacrificed.

After months of unfair treatment, he has decided to resign. It's sad when someone like Gonzales is prevented from doing good work because his good name has been dragged through the mud for political purposes.

Solicitor General Paul Clement will serve as acting AG until a replacement is named and confirmed.

No questions taken. More...

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Reactions to Gonzales' Resignation

We'll be updating reactions to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation as the day goes on. Gonzales' last day will be September 15.

Update: Democratic candidates weigh in.

Update: Charles Schumer's live statement: Touts himself three times for first calling for Gonzales' resignation. Who cares? Says the Justice Department has been in complete disarray. As I've said many times, that's just not the case. Life has gone on as usual in courtrooms all across America. Insists on a replacement that "will uphold the rule of law." A platitude. Says Dems will work with the White House on a replacement, urges them to seek out Dems' advice.

John Edwards: (live interview on CNN)Doesnt' think Chertoff should be the replacement. "We shouldn't replace the person responsible for Guantanamo with the person responsible for the aftermath of Katrina."

Harry Reid: Was never the right man for the job.... He lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove.


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Gonzales Resigns

Update (TL): Gonzales will make a statement at 10:30 am ET, I'll live blog it in a new thread. Bush is also expected to make a statement, and CNN says he will not be naming a replacement today. CNN says Chertoff is the favorite for ultimate replacement, also naming Paul Clement.


He finally did something right:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

I'm sure J. and TChris will have thoughts later.

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FBI Director's Notes Contradict Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month about his visit to John Ashcroft's hospital bed:

"We would not have sought, nor did we intend to get any approval from General Ashcroft if, in fact, he wasn't fully competent to make that decision."
Does this sound like the description of a man who is competent to decide pressing and complex questions of law and policy?
"Saw AG," [FBI Director] Mueller wrote in his timed log of the events on the evening of March 10, 2004. "Janet Ashcroft in the room. AG is feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed."

Gonzales groupies will parse the Attorney General's language to argue that a feeble, stressed, and inarticulate hospital patient might still be competent, but the question is not whether Gonzales committed perjury. The question is whether the Senate will continue to tolerate Gonzales' practice of providing misleading testimony. Wouldn't we experience consequences if any of us were to respond so dishonestly to congressional inquiries? Does the AG deserve a continuing pass simply because he's the AG?

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Tracking Alberto Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales, fresh from his trip to Iraq, is headed to....Harbor Springs, MI.

He'll be conducting a press conference and meeting there with "Michigan's Twelve Sovereign Indian Nations Leaders to discuss efforts to combat violent crime in Indian Country."

A skeptic might say they don't want Gonzales in Washington or anywhere near the Justice Department.

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Gonzales Goes to Baghdad

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is in Baghdad.

The Justice Department said that Gonzales arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for his third trip to Iraq to meet with department officials who have been there to help fashion the country's legal system.

Just what does the Department of Justice do in Baghdad? Here's the DOJ's 2006 press release outlining its role:


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Gonzales Impeachment Inquiry Resolution to Be Introduced

Via Oreo at Daily Kos, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) will introduce a resolution before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow asking that an inquiry be initiated to determine whether there are grounds to impeach Alberto Gonzales.


Directing the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary shall investigate fully whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to impeach Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Contrary to Big Tent Democrat who favors Gonzales' impeachment, I don't have a position on it. Generally, I'm inclined against impeachment proceedings as an unnecessary usurption of Congressional time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Gonzales is a bigger detriment to the Republicans in 2008 if he remains as Attorney General. He will tarnish Bush's legacy permanently and Republican candidates will face a backlash because of him. If he goes early, voters may get over it by then.


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Gonzales Loses Credibility Contest

In a credibility contest between James Comey, the former number 2 in the Justice Department who earned a reputation as a tough-minded but honest prosecutor, and Alberto Gonzales, there's no contest at all. When Gonzales, during today's Senate testimony, contradicted Comey's earlier testimony about Gonzales' visit to a hospitalized John Ashcroft, Gonzales' testimony was greeted -- at least by some senators, including Republican Arlen Specter -- with the scorn it deserved.

Mr. Specter signaled that he did not accept Mr. Gonzales’s explanation about the hospital incident. “What credibility is left for you?” the senator asked at one point.

Mr. Specter has accused Mr. Gonzales before of dodging questions, and he did so again today. At one point, the senator said, “I see it’s hopeless.” At another point, he said acidly, “Let’s see if somewhere, somehow we can find a question that you’ll answer.”

The challenge is not just to find a question that Gonzales is willing to answer, but one he's willing to answer truthfully.

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Alberto Gonzales Vows to Stay on the Job

(Update: Firedoglake is live-blogging the hearing -- Part 1 and 2 so far.)

Attorney General Gonzales, scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, says in his prepared testimony that he has no intention of resigning.

"I could walk away, or I could devote my time, effort and energy to fix the problems," Gonzales said.

"Since I have never been one to quit, I decided that the best course of action was to remain here and fix the problems. That is exactly what I am doing."

More quotes from his statement are here. Why should he get the opportunity to fix problems he either created or negligently allowed to occur on his watch?

As to the topics he'll be quizzed about, TPMuckraker lists these:

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Senate Hearing on U.S. Attorney Firings

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing has begun on the U.S. Attorney Firings.

TPM has Sara Taylor's written statement.

She's going to walk the line of deciding which questions she can answer as a private citizen and which she won't answer because Fred Fielding says they would impact privileged staff communications.

"While I may be unable to answer certain questions today, I will answer those questions if the courts rule that this committee's need for the information outweighs the president's assertion of executive privilege...

I look forward to answering those questions not covered by the President's assertion of executive privilege."

Firedoglake is live-blogging the hearing. (Part One and Two, so far.) TPMuckraker also is following the hearings.

The hearing is steaming live here.

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Fired U.S. Attorney Testifies Gonzales Disregarded Death Penalty Advice

Paul Charleton, the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona who was fired by Attorney General Gonzales, testified before Congress yesterday and said Gonzales was "overzealous" in his determination to seek the death penalty, often against the advice of prosecutors in charge of the case.

The Bush administration has so far overruled prosecutors' recommendations against its use more frequently than the Clinton administration did.

The pace of overrulings picked up under Gonzales's predecessor, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, and spiked in 2005 and 2006, when the number of times Gonzales ordered prosecutors to seek the death penalty against their advice jumped from three to 21.

One example is the case of meth dealer Jose Rios Rico. Charleton describes Gonzales' unwillingness to listen to his arguments against seeking the death penalty based on the lack of forensic evidence showing Rico was the murderer:


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Alberto Gonzales: Latino Groups Have Buyers' Remorse

When Alberto Gonzales was nominated for Attorney General, some hispanic groups swallowed their doubts about his political history and supported him because he was a Latino.

Some of those groups are now expressing buyer's remorse.

"I have to say we were in error when we supported him to begin with," said Brent Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Gonzales, Wilkes said, has not aggressively pursued hate crimes and cases of police profiling of Hispanics. "We hoped for better. Instead it looks like he's done the bidding of the White House."

Janet Murguia, president and chief executive of the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Hispanic rights group, called Gonzales "a follower, not a leader."

Count me among those who never understood their support for Gonzales in the first place.


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Monica Goodling's Opening Statement

Here is Monica Goodling's opening statement, via Think Progress, which has both the video and transcript.

Christy at Firedoglake is live-blogging. You can watch the live webcast here.

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Monica Goodling to Testify on U.S. Attorney Firings

Today is the day Monica Goodling testifies with immunity before the House Judiciary Committee on the U.S. Attorney firings.

Will she provide further ammunition for those hoping for an Alberto Gonzales' resignation? Or will she plead love of country?

I think it's the latter and she'll be defensive about the firing plan, trying to cast it in the best possible light.

The problem is, there may be no more light at the end of this tunnel.

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