Gonzales aide Goodling resigns
WASHINGTON - A top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly quit Friday, almost two weeks after telling Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings of federal prosecutors.
Monica M. Goodling, the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House, gave no reason for her resignation. Since she was at the center of the firings, Goodling’s refusal to testify has intensified questions about whether the U.S. attorney dismissals were proper and heightened the furor that threatens Gonzales’ own job.
She was involved in an April 6, 2006, phone call between the Justice Department and Sen. Pete Domenici (news, bio, voting record), R-N.M., who had complained to the Bush administration and the president about David Iglesias, then the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque. Domenici wanted Iglesias to aggressively pursue a corruption probe against Democrats before the 2006 elections.
Additionally, Goodling was among aides who on Feb. 5 helped McNulty prepare his testimony for a Senate hearing the next day â€” during which he may have given Congress incomplete or otherwise misleading information about the circumstances of the firings.
Last month, House and Senate panels investigating the ousters signaled they would subpoena Goodling and four other senior Justice officials to testify. But Goodling, who took an indefinite personal leave from the department, balked.
In letters responding to the congressional inquiries, her attorney, John Dowd, said testifying would amount to a perjury trap for Goodling. He likened her potential legal jeopardy in testifying during a Democratic-led investigation to that of I. Lewis Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney who was convicted last month in the CIA leak case.
Gingrich: Gonzales should consider resigning
WASHINGTON (AP) — Joining a growing list of Republicans, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should consider resigning. The possible presidential candidate said the botched firing of U.S. attorneys has destroyed Gonzales’ credibility as the nation’s top law enforcer.
“I think the country, in fact, would be much better served to have a new team at the Justice Department, across the board,” Gingrich said. “I cannot imagine how he is going to be effective for the rest of this administration. … They’re going to be involved in endless hearings.”
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, who is helping lead the investigation into the firing of eight federal prosecutors, said Gingrich’s comments pointed to building bipartisan support for a new attorney general.
At this point Bush is keeping Gonzo in there just to keep the heat off himself. How many more people died in Iraq this weekend, I didn’t see that story, but plenty about old torture boy.