Doyle McManus reports on the political implications of the firing of eight prosecutors for Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, and President Bush:
As more Republicans called last week on Alberto R. Gonzales to resign, President Bush’s aides began to look beyond the attorney general and focus on preventing the controversy over the firing of federal prosecutors from spreading – and endangering Karl Rove, the president’s top political advisor. “This is not going to go away,” warned Joseph E. DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney in the Reagan administration. “I’m sure the president is going to let it go as long as he can … but there’s only so much bleeding he can take.”
If you are wondering whether this DiGenova is the husband of the TraitorGate excuser Victor Toensing, you are correct. The good news in this story is that certain GOP leaders are calling for Gonzales to resign:
Several leading Republicans said they expected Gonzales to resign in the next few weeks. They asked to speak on condition of anonymity because their comments conflicted with Bush’s public position that his attorney general does not need to leave. Two Republican senators, John E. Sununu of New Hampshire and Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, and one Republican congressman, Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, have publicly called on Gonzales to resign. Others have said privately that the attorney general should leave. And no leading Republican in Congress has stepped forward to defend Gonzales – a sign that any political support he once enjoyed has virtually disappeared.
I bet Mr. Toensing thinks that Sunnunu et al. are sissies:
But other Republicans defended Rove. “There’s no suggestion of illegality in anything he has done,” DiGenova said. “He wasn’t the one making inaccurate representations on Capitol Hill. I would think that would trump any demand [from Congress] for testimony.” Rove, speaking at a university last week, dismissed the controversy as groundless. “We’re at a point where people want to play politics with it,” he said … “The incompetence has been amazing,” DiGenova charged. “Managing crises, beginning with preventing crises, is what life in Washington is about…. But these guys didn’t have a plan ready to answer questions once the problem became public. They still don’t have their stories straight. “There are too many Stepford husbands in this administration: young men who are perfectly coiffed and have great clothes, but very few of them have ever been in a courtroom,” he added.
DiGenova probably understands what it means to be a Stepford husband. All this spin that this controversy does not constitute a crime and is nothing more than a few mistakes and not fully answering questions accurately is the kind of BS that was most likely penned by his wife.
I have to go now as Senator Feinstein is about to appear on Face The Nation .
Update: The highlight of Senator Feinstein’s interview on Face the Nation can be found here:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calf., a member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she’s reserving judgment about whether or not he should resign. But one of the fired U.S. attorneys is from San Diego. Feinstein said Carol Lam was fired after she sent a notice to the Justice Department that she had a case against Dusty Foggo, a defense contractor. “The next day, an e-mail went from the Justice Department to the White House saying ‘We have a real problem with Carol Lam,'” Feinstein told Chief Washington correspondent Bob Scheiffer. “All I’m saying, as the evidence comes in, as we look at the e-mails, there were clearly U.S. attorneys that were thorns in the side – for one reason or another – of the Justice Department. And they decided, by strategy, in one fell swoop, to get rid of seven of them on that day, December the 7th.” Feinstein said that even though U.S. attorneys are appointed by the President, they have to be politically independent, and she worries that if this issue isn’t dealt with, U.S. attorneys will not be able to act objectively. “That is very difficult for me to believe that you can fire seven prosecutors on a given day, five of whom are involved in major corruption cases one way or another, and the attorney general who is the head of the organization hasn’t given a go-ahead somewhere along the line,” she said. “We need to find that out.”
Over at ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Senators Leahy and Cornyn where this type of behavior was called “politics”. It is sad to see George Stephanopoulos reading from the White House talking points on this particular controversy. Cornyn for his part said Senator Schumer had a conflict of interest and to subpoena Karl Rove would turn this investigation into a political witch hunt. Ahem!