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Old 03-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #1
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Gonzales: going, going, gone?

[q]Gonzales faces calls for resignation, cancels trip

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly canceled travel plans Tuesday amid growing calls for his ouster over the firings of eight federal prosecutors during a White House-directed housecleaning of U.S. attorneys.

Gonzales also accepted the resignation of his top aide, Kyle Sampson, who authorities said failed to brief other senior Justice Department officials of his discussions about the firings with then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. Miers resigned in January.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who is leading a Senate investigation of the firings, called for the second time in three days for Gonzales to step down.

Additionally, Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Gonzales "ought to be shown the door -- he ought not to be in this administration. We have got to end corruption in our government. It is not OK to be corrupt."

Gonzales was expected to respond to the criticism as early as Tuesday afternoon. Sampson declined comment.

The government's 93 U.S. attorneys are presidential appointees who can be hired and fired at will. But critics say the fate of the eight who were dismissed last year appeared to have been politically motivated. And Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike said they were outraged that Justice Department officials weren't forthcoming on how the firings unfolded -- even when asked, under oath, by Congress.

A Justice Department official said Tuesday that Miers, in a February 2005 discussion with Sampson, suggested firing all of the U.S. attorneys. White House spokesman Tony Snow described the idea as a move to get fresh faces in the 4-year term jobs, and said that it was not a firm recommendation by Miers.

Sampson, according to the Justice official, rejected the idea to fire all of the prosecutors but spent the next year drawing up a list of potential dismissals. On January 9, 2006, Sampson sent Miers a memo listing what the official described as roughly 10 names of prosecutors who were viewed as underperforming in their jobs.

By September, Sampson began moving forward with the firings, the Justice official said. The White House did not ask for names to be added or removed from that list, the official said. Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty signed off on the list around that time, the official said.

Gonzales was aware of the discussions with the White House, but McNulty and other senior department officials were not, the official said.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, called the Justice Department's management dysfunctional for sending Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Will Moschella to testify before the panel last week "without knowing all the facts."

"They're going to have to come up with some answers," Sensenbrenner said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. "If they don't, they're going to lose everyone's confidence."

"What I'd like to hear is the truth," he said, complaining about the Justice Department's different explanations for the dismissals. If that record is not corrected, Sensenbrenner said, "then the Justice Department and the attorney general himself are going to die by a thousand cuts."

Allegations of pressure

President Bush made "no recommendations on specific individuals," Snow said. "We don't have anything to indicate the president made any calls on specific us attorneys."

On Monday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino acknowledged that complaints about the job performance of prosecutors occasionally came to the White House and were passed on to the Justice Department, perhaps including some informally from Bush to Gonzales.

Some of the prosecutors who were fired have said they felt pressured by powerful Republicans in their home states to rush investigations of potential voter fraud involving Democrats.

Perino said deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, vaguely recalls telling Miers that he also thought firing all 93 was ill-advised.

Dating back to mid-2004, the White House's legislative affairs, political affairs and chief of staff's office had received complaints from a variety of sources about the lack of vigorous prosecution of election fraud cases in various locations, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee and New Mexico, she said

Those complaints were passed on to the Justice Department or Miers' office.

"The president recalls hearing complaints about election fraud not being vigorously prosecuted and believes he may have informally mentioned it to the attorney general during a brief discussion on other Department of Justice matters," Perino said, adding that the conversation would have taken place in October 2006.

"At no time did any White House officials, including the president, direct the Department of Justice to take specific action against any individual U.S. attorney," Perino said.

Democrats target Rove

Congressional Democrats have also singled out Rove for questioning about the firings of the eight prosecutors and whether the dismissals were politically motivated.

Those demands to question Rove signaled anew Democrats' shifting focus beyond the Justice Department and toward the White House in the inquiry.

Last week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, said he would seek to interview Miers and deputy counsel William Kelly for insight on their roles, if any, in the firings.

Rove emerged as the Democrats' newest target after weekend news reports said the New Mexico Republican Party's chairman urged Rove to fire David Iglesias, then the state's U.S. attorney.

In a statement Monday, Conyers said stories about Rove's alleged link to Iglesias' dismissal "raise even more alarm bells for us."

"As a result, we would want to ensure that Karl Rove was one of the White House staff that we interview in connection with our investigation," said Conyers.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, who is leading his chamber's probe into the firings, said he also wants to question Rove.

In an interview this weekend with The Associated Press, New Mexico GOP chairman Allen Weh said Iglesias' "termination had already occurred" by the time he spoke with Rove at a holiday party last December. But Weh made no secret of his dissatisfaction with Iglesias, in part from the prosecutor's failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation.

The White House has said previously that Rove wasn't involved in the firings, but did alert Miers to complaints about Iglesias. It was not immediately clear whether Rove also told Gonzales about the complaints.

Last week, Rove called the two-month controversy "a very big attempt by some in the Congress to make a political stink about it."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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Old 03-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
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Interesting.

Oh, btw, happy 10,000.
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:55 PM   #3
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Interesting.

Oh, btw, happy 10,000.


yeah, i totally missed that.

i have no idea what post #10,000 was.

perhaps i need a new hobby.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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yeah, i totally missed that.

i have no idea what post #10,000 was.

perhaps i need a new hobby.
It was the one where you said that one thing.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:36 PM   #5
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ABC News

EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton Calls for Gonzales' Resignation
Senator Tells ABC News 'Buck Should Stop Somewhere' Over Issue of Fired Attorneys
By JAKE TAPPER AND CINDY SMITH

March 13, 2007 — - In an exclusive interview to air Wednesday morning, March 14, on "Good Morning America," Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, for the first time called for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

"The buck should stop somewhere," Clinton told ABC News senior political correspondent Jake Tapper, "and the attorney general -- who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country -- should resign.

"I'm deeply disturbed by what we have learned thus far," Clinton said, "and I join those who are calling for a full and thorough investigation to try to get to the bottom of these very political decisions that interfere with prosecutorial responsibility by U.S. attorneys, and I think that the attorney general should resign."

Clinton said the evidence so far pointed to "direct interference with the way U.S. attorneys are supposed to operate -- to be impartial. There's evidence of political interference and political pressure being put on them to engage in partisan political activities." Clinton added there were "so many examples of an abuse of power, of going in and removing people not on the basis of performance but, in fact, because they were performing well, they were fulfilling their responsibilities as a U.S. attorney, and that wasn't within the political agenda of the administration."

When Clinton's husband took office in 1993, one of the first actions his attorney general took was to remove every U.S. attorney. Clinton was asked how this was different from the termination of eight U.S. attorneys last December.

"There is a great difference," Clinton said. "When a new president comes in, a new president gets to clean house. It's not done on a case-by-case basis where you didn't do what some senator or member of Congress told you to do in terms of investigations into your opponents. It is 'Let's start afresh' and every president has done that."

When asked what she'd like to see from President Bush and White House aide Karl Rove, Clinton said, "The president needs to be very forthcoming -- what did he say, what did he know, what did he do? And Karl Rove is clearly in the middle of this from all the evidence we have seen so far, and I think he owes the Congress and the country an explanation."
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Gonzales needs to resign. I agree with Hillary.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:21 PM   #7
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Gonzales will be gone by friday.

too bad. but that's what being an unblinking loyalist to this president gets you.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:34 PM   #8
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It's only a matter of time.

Bush is becoming a good predictor. When he praises somebody, you know they're gone within the next week.

This is such a criminal administration that it would be hilarious were it not so tragic.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:55 PM   #9
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Yet, I'm not shocked


I believe history will reveal that this has been the most corrupt administration in America's past.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:03 PM   #10
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Yeah those who claim this administration love their country I find laughable.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:26 PM   #11
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Yeah those who claim this administration love their country I find laughable.

Of course the Bush regime loves it since they can manipulate the electorate, empty the government coffers, do pretty much whatever they feel like and get away with it. What a country!!!
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:41 PM   #12
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Gonzales will be gone by friday.

too bad. but that's what being an unblinking loyalist to this president gets you.
i don't think so



it could be next friday, though
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:55 AM   #13
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Yeah those who claim this administration love their country I find laughable.

That immediately reminded me of something Erich Mielke, the chief of the Eastern Germany Stasi, said when the citizens were protesting against the regime: "But I love you all."
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:42 AM   #14
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Well at least one Republican has the courage to say it..

First GOP senator says Bush should fire Gonzales
By Klaus Marre, The Hill
March 14, 2007

John Sununu (N.H.) Wednesday became the first Senate Republican to call on President Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

“The President should fire the Attorney General and replace him as soon as possible with someone who can provide strong, aggressive leadership prosecuting the war on terrorism, running the Department of Justice, and working with the President and Congress on important homeland security matters,” Sununu said in a statement.

The senator has often been critical of the Department of Justice under Gonzales and said earlier Wednesday that his confidence in the attorney general’s leadership was “weak to begin with.”

In order to fight terrorists at home and abroad effectively, Sununu argued that the country would need “a strong, credible Attorney General who holds the confidence of Congress and the American people.”

He added: “I do not believe Alberto Gonzales can fill that role.”
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #15
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Subpoena

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday he doesn't care what the White House and Justice Department think of his subpoenas -- he wants answers.

In a voice vote, the committee authorized the use of subpoenas to elicit testimony from five current and former Justice Department officials in the probe into the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys. Subpoenas were authorized for six of the attorneys as well.

"If I do not get the cooperation, I will subpoena," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the panel's chairman, during the Thursday hearing. "We will have testimony under oath before this committee. We'll have the chance for both Republicans and Democrats to ask questions, and we'll find out what happened."

But the committee's ranking Republican warned against moving too hastily.

"I think the subpoena issue has to be handled with great delicacy because when a subpoena is issued there is a suggestion that the person will not come in voluntarily," said Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. "When the person will not come in voluntarily, there is a suggestion that the person has something to hide."

The committee postponed a vote on the authorization to use subpoenas to compel White House officials to testify, including President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.

Most of the federal prosecutors claim they were the political casualties of rankling the White House, and some say they were pressured by members of Congress to expedite politically charged cases.

Justice Department officials initially told Congress the removals were performance-related, which prompted an outcry from the fired lawyers.

The administration later admitted one of the fired prosecutors had been removed to make way for a former aide to Rove but said the remainder were fired over management concerns and policy disagreements.

"I'm surprised that they're saying that there's no politics involved, and we're still 2½ weeks away from April Fool's Day," Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, told CNN on Wednesday. "How can they possibly stand there with a straight face and say that's not politics? Of course it's politics."
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