From the Yakima Herald-Republic:
Former 4th District Congressman Jay Inslee has introduced a resolution in the House that directs the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be impeached.
“The White House is defending the indefensible actions of Alberto Gonzales,” Inslee said in statement on his congressional Web site. “If the president won’t do his job, Congress will do ours.”
31 July 2007
Six congressmen who once were prosecutors want to restore independence of the judicial branch. That’s why they, along with other members of Congress, introduced a resolution in the House today that could lead to the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Specifically, the resolution would require the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. The resolution would need to win approval by a majority of the House for the panel to start investigating. If after an investigation the Judiciary Committee, by majority vote, determines that grounds for impeachment exist, a resolution impeaching the attorney general and setting forth specific allegations of misconduct, in one or more articles of impeachment, would be reported to the full House.
The prosecutors joining Inslee in his call for an investigation into Gonzales include U.S. Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael A. Arcuri (D-N.Y.), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) and Dennis Moore (D-Kan.). Nine other members of Congress also have co-sponsored the resolution, including U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee who has practiced law for 27 years and was a judge in DaKalb County, Ga., for over a decade.
Why does Bush hang on to his Little Gonzo so tightly? I will let Time explain:
1 Gonzales is all that stands between the White House and special prosecutors. As dicey as things are for Bush right now, his advisers know that they could get much worse. In private, Democrats say that if Gonzales did step down, his replacement would be required to agree to an independent investigation of Gonzales’ tenure in order to be confirmed by the Senate.
2 A post-Gonzales DOJ would be in the hands of a nonpartisan, tough prosecutor, not a political hand. Newly appointed Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford is in line to take over until a new Attorney General could be confirmed. Morford, a 20-year veteran of the department, was brought in to investigate the botched trial of the first major federal antiterrorism case after 9/11. He is in the mold of James Comey, the former Deputy Attorney General who stood up to the White House over its domestic-eavesdropping program.
3 If Gonzales goes, the White House fears that other losses will follow. Top Bush advisers argue that Democrats are after scalps and would not stop at Gonzales. Congressional judiciary committees have already subpoenaed Harriet Miers and Karl Rove in the firings of U.S. Attorneys last year. Republicans are loath to hand Democrats some high-profile casualties to use in the 2008 campaign. Stonewalling, they believe, is their best way to avoid another election focused on corruption issues.
4 Nobody at the White House wants the legal bills and headaches that come with being a target of investigations. In backing Gonzales, Bush is influenced by advisers whose future depends on the survival of their political bodyguard. Gonzales remains the last line of defense protecting Bush, Rove and other top White House officials from the personal consequences of litigation.