Members of Congress on Alberto Gonzales

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After assuming the office of Attorney General on February 3, 2005, Alberto Gonzales became involved in multiple scandals, including the U.S. attorney firings controversy and the investigation over the N.S.A. warrantless wiretapping program. As Gonzales's role in the attorney firings became uncovered, and after his questionable testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the warrantless wiretapping program, his support in Congress dwindled. Many members of Congress from both parties called for his removal from office, through resignation, through firing, and even through impeachment.

The following are statements from members of Congress stating their views on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Contents

House

Member name District/Party Strongest criticism Quote
Alabama
None recorded
Alaska
None recorded
Arizona
None recorded
Arkansas
None recorded
California
Nancy Pelosi 8th CD - Democrat Criticism "I believe we need a new attorney general."(3/19/2007)[1]
Dana Rohrabacher 46th CD - Democrat Criticism "Even for Republicans this is a warning sign … saying there needs to be a change ... Maybe the president should have an attorney general who is less a personal friend and more professional in his approach."(3/15/2007)[2]
Darrell Issa 49th CD - Republican Criticism "We can soft-pedal it a lot of ways, but Congress was lied to ... he should not be able to continue in his job."[3]
Colorado
Tom Tancredo 6th CD - Republican Criticism "Gonzales' legacy at the (Justice Department) has been one of misplaced priorities, political miscalculation, and a failure to enforce the laws which he has sworn to uphold. I think that it is time for him to move on."(3/20/2007)[4]
Connecticut
None recorded
Delaware
None recorded
Florida
None recorded
Georgia
None recorded
Hawaii
None recorded
Idaho
None recorded
Illinois
None recorded
Indiana
None recorded
Iowa
None recorded
Kansas
None recorded
Kentucky
None recorded
Louisiana
None recorded
Maine
None recorded
Maryland
None recorded
Massachusetts
None recorded
Michigan
None recorded
Minnesota
None recorded
Mississippi
None recorded
Missouri
None recorded
Montana
None recorded
Nebraska
None recorded
Nevada
None recorded
New Hampshire
None recorded
New Jersey
None recorded
New Mexico
None recorded
New York
None recorded
North Carolina
None recorded
North Dakota
None recorded
Ohio
Paul Gillmor 5th CD - Republican Resignation "As a result of very public errors, Attorney General Gonzales has become a lightning rod and has distracted from the mission of the Department of Justice... Given the totality of the circumstances, I think it would be better for the President and the Department if the Attorney General were to step down."(3/15/2007) [5]
Oklahoma
None recorded
Oregon
None recorded
Pennsylvania
None recorded
Rhode Island
None recorded
South Carolina
None recorded
South Dakota
None recorded
Tennessee
None recorded
Texas
None recorded
Utah
None recorded
Vermont
None recorded
Virginia
None recorded
Washington
None recorded
West Virginia
None recorded
Wisconsin
None recorded
Wyoming
None recorded

Senate

Member name Party Strongest criticism Quote
Alabama
Jeff Sessions Republican Resignation "There are some problems that he just hasn't handled well, and it might just be best if he came to a conclusion that the department is better served if he's not there."(4/20/07)[6]
Alaska
None recorded
Arizona
John McCain Republican Resignation "I am very disappointed in [Alberto Gonzales’] performance . . . I think loyalty to the president should enter into his calculations. . . . I think that out of loyalty to the president that [resigning] would probably be the best thing that he could do."(4/25/07)[7]
Arkansas
None recorded
California
None recorded
Colorado
None recorded
Connecticut
Chris Dodd Democrat Firing "Anyone found responsible for these egregious lapses in judgment — up to and including Alberto Gonzales — should be immediately dismissed."(3/16/2007)[8]
Delaware
None recorded
Florida
None recorded
Georgia
None recorded
Hawaii
None recorded
Idaho
None recorded
Illinois
Dick Durbin Democrat Criticism "It would be so refreshing to bring a real prosecutor in there, someone independent to clean up the Department of Justice to restore the integrity and credibility, what that important agency needs."(3/25/2007) [9]
Indiana
None recorded
Iowa
None recorded
Kansas
Pat Roberts Republican Resignation "When you have to spend more time up here on Capitol Hill instead of running the Justice Department, maybe you ought to think about [stepping down]."(5/16/07)[10]
Kentucky
None recorded
Louisiana
None recorded
Maine
None recorded
Maryland
None recorded
Massachusetts
None recorded
Michigan
None recorded
Minnesota
Norm Coleman Republican Resignation "Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Thursday that he would like to see Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resign, calling into question Gonzales’ credibility and his ability to focus on his job. ‘I don't believe that Gonzales has the type of leadership that the department needs,’ he said."(5/17/07)[11]

"Coleman, who faces a tough re-election campaign next year, said in an interview he had "deep concerns" about whether Gonzales should stay. "This situation has been handled abysmally," he said."(3/15/2007)[12]

Mississippi
Trent Lott Republican Support "I see no evidence that anything illegal was done or improper. As a matter of fact, it looks to me like when you look at the dates there that this discussion took place kind of after the decisions had been made."(3/25/2007) [13]
Missouri
None recorded
Montana
None recorded
Nebraska
Chuck Hagel Republican Criticism "The American people deserve an attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of our country, whose honesty and capability are beyond question . . .Attorney General Gonzales can no longer meet this standard. He has failed this country. He has lost the moral authority to lead."(5/16/07)[14]

"You cannot have the nation's chief law enforcement officer with a cloud hanging over his credibility."(3/25/2007) [15]

Nevada
None recorded
New Hampshire
John Sununu Republican Firing "I think the president should replace him. I think the attorney general should be fired."(3/14/2007)[16]
New Jersey
None recorded
New Mexico
None recorded
New York
Hillary Clinton Democrat Resignation "The buck should stop somewhere and the attorney general — who still seems to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his duty to the system of justice and to the entire country — should resign."(3/13/2007)[17]
Chuck Schumer Democrat Resignation "This department has been so political that I think for the sake of the nation, Attorney General Gonzales should step down."(3/1/2007)[18]

"This weekend I called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to step down. Today's staff resignation does not take heat off the attorney general. In fact, it raises the temperature. Kyle Sampson will not become the next Scooter Libby, the next fall guy."(3/13/2007)[19]

North Carolina
None recorded
North Dakota
None recorded
Ohio
None recorded
Oklahoma
Tom Coburn Republican Resignation "I believe that the best way to put this behind us is your resignation."(4/19/07)[20]
Oregon
Gordon Smith Republican Resignation "For the Justice Department to be effective before the U.S. Senate, it would be helpful" if Gonzales resigned.(3/15/2007)[21]
Pennsylvania
Arlen Specter Republican Resignation Specter stated that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is hurting the Justice Department and the Bush administration by not resigning. Gonzales' testimony "was very, very damaging to his own credibility. It has been damaging to the administration."(4/19/2007) [22] Additionally, Specter stated that "I have a sense that when we finish our investigation, we may have the conclusion of the tenure of the attorney general."(5/17/07)[23]

"One day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later."(3/8/2007)[24]

Rhode Island
None recorded
South Carolina
Lindsay Graham Republican Criticism "But at the end of the day, you said something that struck me, ‘That sometimes it just came down to these were not the right people at the right time.’ If I applied that standard to you, what would you say?"(4/19/07)[25]

"He's going to have to come to the Senate and re-establish his credibility. He's going to have to prove to us that there was a legitimate reason this was poorly handled, because you can't say it was anything other than poorly handled."(3/25/2007) [26]

South Dakota
None recorded
Tennessee
None recorded
Texas
None recorded
Utah
None recorded
Vermont
None recorded
Virginia
None recorded
Washington
None recorded
West Virginia
None recorded
Wisconsin
None recorded
Wyoming
None recorded

Notable statements from non-members of Congress

Name Party Strongest criticism Quote
Newt Gingrich Republican Resignation "I think the country, in fact, would be much better served to have a new team at the Justice Department, across the board."(4/8/2007) [27]

References

  1. Zuckman, Jill. "Pelosi calls for new attorney general," Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2007.
  2. "Strategist Says Gonzales Is "Finished"," CBS/AP, March 15, 2007.
  3. Bennett, William Finn.(3/14/2007) "Issa: 'Congress was lied to'," North County Times, March 15, 2007.
  4. Talhelm, Jennifer. "Tancredo: Time for Gonzales to 'Move On'," Associated Press, March 20, 2007.
  5. Benjamin Roode, "Gillmor joins in calls for Gonzales to go," Sandusky Register, March 23, 2007.
  6. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  7. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  8. CQ Staff. "Presidential Hopefuls Speak Up on Prosecutor Dismissals," CQ Politics, March 19, 2007.
  9. "All About Alberto," The Hotline, March 26, 2007.
  10. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  11. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  12. Rowley, James and Robert Schmidt. "Bush Official Backs Away From Claim on Prosecutors," Bloomberg, March 16, 2007.
  13. "All About Alberto," The Hotline, March 26, 2007.
  14. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  15. "Specter: Gonzales has some explaining to do," CNN, March 26, 2007.
  16. Kellman, Laurie. "Sununu calls for ouster of Gonzales," Associated Press, March 15, 2007.
  17. Tapper, Jake and Cindy Smith. "EXCLUSIVE: Hillary Clinton Calls for Gonzalez' Removal," ABC News, March 13, 2007.
  18. Roche, Jr., Walter F. "Key Democrat calls for Gonzales to resign," Boston Globe, March 12, 2007.
  19. Kiel, Paul. "Schumer: Gonzales Staffer 'Will Not Become The Next Scooter Libby'," TPM Muckraker, March 13, 2007.
  20. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  21. "Second Republican suggests Gonzales should go," USA Today, March 15, 2007.
  22. Zachary A. Goldfarb, "Specter Says Gonzales Is Hurting Justice Department," Washington Post, April 23, 2007.
  23. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  24. Kane, Paul and Dan Eggen. "Gonzales Yields On Hiring Interim U.S. Attorneys," Washington Post, March 9, 2007.
  25. "Americans have lost confidence in the attorney general," The Democratic Caucus, June 11, 2007.
  26. "Specter: Gonzales has some explaining to do," CNN, March 26, 2007.
  27. " Gingrich: Gonzales should consider resigning," CNN, April 8, 2007.
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