As he sought to renew the USA Patriot Act two years ago, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales assured lawmakers that the FBI had not abused its potent new terrorism-fighting powers. "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse," Gonzales told senators on April 27, 2005.
Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The best defense that Gonzales has is that he is a completely incompetent manager and leader who does not listen or read what his subordinates are saying about one of the larger issues that he should be on top of. The probable defense is that he holds the entire concept of Congressional oversight in contempt and thought that lying was a cost-free action with a permanent Republican Congress. Either way, he should not be running the Justice Department.
So why not impeach him. He is the most likely Bush Administration official to actually be able to garner sixty seven votes for conviction on some charge and he sure as hell deserves it on multiple grounds. The relevant question is how many Republicans would vote to convict him? Help me out with a decent approximate count.
I am pretty sure that the following Republicans are persuadables:
Specter (of the infamous and dorky "Not proven" vote
McCain??? (personal spite against Bush for imploding his campaign?)
Who else might be persuadable?