The White House has called the upcoming Senate no-confidence vote over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a "political stunt." By which they mean "it won't change our minds and the Senators know it."
President Bush's support for his longtime ally and friend will not waver, said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.Has there ever been an executive with more contempt for the other branches of government?
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., on Thursday became the fifth Republican senator to demand that Gonzales leave. Meanwhile, Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., suggested that Bush consider ejecting Gonzales if he decides Gonzales is doing more harm than good.
Two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California, said they would offer a nonbinding resolution expressing that Gonzales was too weakened to run the Justice Department. The department is embroiled in probes of the firings of prosecutors and accusations that it has become too politicized.
``I think the time has come for the Senate to express its will,'' Feinstein said. ``We lack confidence in the attorney general.''
``We would consider it another political stunt,'' Fratto said.
He also said Gonzales does not necessarily need Congress' support to continue serving.
``It's important for any public official to have as much confidence as he can garner and it will ebb and flow,'' Fratto said. ``But it will not ebb and flow with this president and this attorney general.''
Update The breaking news is that Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Artur Davis (D-AL) have written a letter calling upon their House colleagues to join the Senate in seeking a vote of no confidence in Gonzales. Both are former Assistant United States Attorneys, with a combined 10 years of experience as prosecutors in the Department of Justice. Their letter states:
At this critical time in our Nation's history, when we confront unprecedented challenges posed by global terrorism, and when public confidence in our justice system is a necessity, our country must have the service of an Attorney General who has the full confidence of the American people to enforce the law, defend the United States from threats foreign and domestic, prevent crime and seek punishment for those guilty, and ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.Nancy Pelosi called for Gonzales resignation two months ago and I think will probably support this move.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has failed to adequately and properly manage the Department of Justice and faithfully execute the duties of his office, as reflected in his mismanagement of the dismissal of U.S. Attorneys, the conflicting and incomplete testimony before Congress by the Attorney General regarding his actions, and his demonstrated inability to reassure the public that our laws are being enforced in a nonpartisan, judicious manner.
It is our belief that Congress and the American people have lost confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and the Congress should formally express no confidence in his continued tenure as the head of the Department of Justice.