WASHINGTON, April 19 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales encountered anger and skepticism from senators today as he insisted that he had nothing to hide in the dismissals of eight United States attorneys, an episode that has cast a shadow on the Justice Department and brought calls for his resignation.Note that his equally incompetent boss thought things "had gone well" which would indicate he didn't really watch it or he is even more divorced from reality than we thought.
“I am here today to do my part to ensure that all facts about this matter are brought to light,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, noting that the panel’s inquiry into the dismissals had already yielded thousands of pages of internal departmental communications and hours of interviews with department officials.
“These are not the actions of someone with something to hide,” Mr. Gonzales said in his opening remarks.
His reception from Democrats and Republicans alike, at a hearing that was widely seen as a make-or-break event, did not seem to augur well for Mr. Gonzales. But at the end of the day, the White House issued a statement that President Bush thought Mr. Gonzales’s testimony had gone well, and that he had “full confidence” in the attorney general.
While there may not be any agreement on the claims that the AG firings were politically motivated there did seem to be almost universal agreement that Gonzo is an incompetent boob. Gonzo gave no indication that he will voluntarily step down and the President gave no indication he was going to show him the door.
One of the rational members of the right, Ed Morrisey, sums up the Republican reaction pretty well.
That doesn't mean the Justice staff fired the prosecutors for improper reasons, but it does say something about Gonzales' competence. And even with hindsight, he still couldn't come up with a good reason for two of the seven.
What does all of this mean? It means that Gonzales is toast. One can write off Senators like Specter and Graham, but Tom Coburn is part of the conservative backbone in the Senate. That is a clear message to the White House to start placing ads in the paper for the upcoming opening in senior management.