Later in the show, host Chris Wallace revealed that no conservative would willingly defend Gonzales on Fox. “By the way, we invited White House officials and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend Attorney General Gonzales,” said Wallace. “We had no takers.”Meanwhile in an editorial today the New York Times says that Gonzo should be impeached.
It confirmed what most people long ago concluded: that Mr. Gonzales is more concerned about doing political-damage control for Mr. Bush — in this case insisting that there was never a Justice Department objection to a clearly illegal program — than in doing his duty. But the White House continued to defend him.Simply opening impeachment hearings may be enough to get Gonzales to resign. Without such a threat Bush will not fire him or let him resign. There will be no special prosecutor. Impeachment should begin before the summer recess, the country can't wait.
As far as we can tell, there are three possible explanations for Mr. Gonzales’s talk about a dispute over other — unspecified — intelligence activities. One, he lied to Congress. Two, he used a bureaucratic dodge to mislead lawmakers and the public: the spying program was modified after Mr. Ashcroft refused to endorse it, which made it “different” from the one Mr. Bush has acknowledged. The third is that there was more wiretapping than has been disclosed, perhaps even purely domestic wiretapping, and Mr. Gonzales is helping Mr. Bush cover it up.
Democratic lawmakers are asking for a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Gonzales’s words and deeds. Solicitor General Paul Clement has a last chance to show that the Justice Department is still minimally functional by fulfilling that request.
If that does not happen, Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales.
As usual Joe Gandelman has some excellent observations.
More than ever, Gonzales is in his post because one man in the United States wants him there. But in doing so, each day he’s there he hurts his own party, his own President — and to defend him White House Press spokesman Tony Snow has had to morph into a cross between Pinocchio and Nixon’s press secretary Ron Ziegler.