WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid bipartisan calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation in a scandal over dismissals of eight federal prosecutors, the White House said Monday, ''We hope he stays.'' When asked if Gonzales will serve for the rest of President Bush's term, White House press secretary Tony Snow said, ''Well, we hope so.''Gonzo's failing - not that he did any thing wrong in the eyes of the administration but that he can't spin. First in was Harriet Miers and now it's Gonzo's turn to be the next Peter Principle firing at the Bus administration.
Gonzales is under fire for the removal of eight U.S. attorneys and the bungled way their firings were explained to Congress.
Bush has expressed confidence in Gonzales and defended the removal of the prosecutors, but also voiced frustration that lawmakers were not provided straightforward information.
Well, this pretty well says it all:
White House Seeking Gonzales Replacements
Republican officials operating at the behest of the White House have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has collapsed, according to party sources familiar with the discussions.But will Gonzo's departure be enough?
Among the names floated Monday by administration officials are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House anti-terrorism coordinator Frances Townsend. Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson is a White House prospect. So is former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson, but sources were unsure whether he would want the job.
Republican sources also disclosed that it is now a virtual certainty that Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, whose incomplete and inaccurate congressional testimony about the prosecutors helped precipitate the crisis, will also resign shortly. Officials were debating whether Gonzales and McNulty should depart at the same time or whether McNulty should go a day or two after Gonzales. Still known as "The Judge" for his service on the Texas Supreme Court, Gonzales is one of the few remaining original Texans who came to Washington with President Bush.
In a sign of Republican despair, GOP political strategists on Capitol Hill said that it is too late for Gonzales' departure to head off a full-scale Democratic investigation into the motives and timing behind the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
"Democrats smell blood in the water, and (Gonzales') resignation won't stop them," said a well-connected Republican Senate aide. "And on our side, no one's going to defend him. All we can do is warn Democrats against overreaching."