Time for Gonzales to turn in his resignation
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What we have here is a failure to communicate — truthfully, at least.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, when faced with the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year, maintained that he knew nothing about plans to dismiss them. Gonzales admitted only that Kyle Sampson, his former chief of staff, was working on a plan to improve U.S. attorney performances.
It was later revealed that Sampson had been working with former White House counsel Harriet Miers for more than a year on the dismissals. Gonzales relented, saying that not all the attorneys were let go because of performance.
And what of his claim that he had not participated in plans for the dismissals? That, apparently, wasn't true either.
E-mails released Friday night show that Gonzales had attended an hour-long meeting about the dismissals 10 days before the firings took place.
There's no denying that U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. As such, the president is free to hire and fire as he wishes, a luxury that president Bill Clinton took advantage of when he took office.
What was suspect about these dismissals is that they took place mid-term. These particular attorneys appeared to have fallen out of presidential favor when they refused to pursue investigations on Democrats over accusations of voter fraud.
U.S. attorneys must be free to carry out the rule of law without fear of repercussions from the White House.
If Gonzales had argued that it was the right of the president to replace these attorneys, the dismissals would have smacked of political interference with the law. That would have sparked debate and calls for investigations.
The fact that Gonzales has changed his story several times following e-mails that undermine his statements — well, that just smacks of a cover-up. Debates and investigations are still called for — but now, so is his resignation.