The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

The move to impeach Attorney Alberto Gonzales is heating up. Now that Gonzales is on the record making statements that appear to be at odds with documentary evidence, Washington Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee is introducing a resolution that would direct the House Judiciary Committee to open up impeachment hearings into the embattled head of the Department of Justice. National Journal's Jane Roh has the details.

Washington Democrat Jay Inslee plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday, House sources confirmed.

[...]

It was not clear whether Inslee consulted with the Democratic leadership. A spokeswoman for the House Judiciary Committee said she could not comment on the impeachment push, and calls to Inslee's and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offices were not immediately returned.

[...]

The House needs only a simple majority to impeach Gonzales -- an entirely probable scenario. In order to convict, or expel, Gonzales, a two-thirds vote is required in the Senate. That's a little trickier to predict, but judging by the AG's performance on the Hill last week, certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

[...]

Impeaching Gonzales would not only hand Bush a major professional failure -- the removal of the nation's first Latino attorney general -- but could actually hit the infamously loyal president where he lives. Bush has barely flinched at the constantly swelling tidal wave of anger and outrage directed at him. The forced removal of Gonzales could be the first blow that he actually feels.

Think Progress was among the first to pick up this story, which seems to have been broken by MSNBC earlier this afternoon.

I think that, at least in part, Roh's reading of this story is correct -- that the removal of Gonzales would not be entirely out of the realm of possibility. While I don't think it's likely that there would be the 17 Republican votes in the Senate necessary to convict Gonzales, it would not be surprising to see at least some Republicans support the removal of Gonzales (though it's always possible that at least one of those now seemingly opposed to Gonzales will simply vote "not proven" in the case of a Senate trial...).

Update [2007-7-30 19:49:49 by Jonathan Singer]: I gave Arlen Specter a bit of a jab towards the bottom of the post with the "not proven" line, but it looks like perhaps -- and I'm not holding my breath here -- but perhaps he's ready to get tough on the Bush administration. The Hill's duo of Elana Schor and Susan Crabtree have the story.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican, Arlen Specter (Pa.), emerged from a crucial Monday briefing and gave the Bush administration 18 hours to resolve the controversy over apparent contradictions in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s congressional testimony.

Tags: 110th congress, alberto gonzales, impeachment (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

This is very good news. I just hope that it doesn't end up being a fruitless gesture with the Senate not finding him guilty.

by Tommy Twolicks 2007-07-30 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

"Not proven" is not the same as "not guilty". The gesture will be fruitful no matter what the outcome because it will show that the Democrats are trying to end corruption and lying, not just wringing their hands and saying nothing can be done. This is an important and very powerful gesture as well as being one that could catapult the Democrats to even greater victories in 2008 and really sink the Republican Party.

by RandomNonviolence 2007-07-30 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

I hope you're right, but I have serious doubts.  Certainly Republicans will portray a failure to convict as a vindication, and I'd bet the media will follow that line.

by KCinDC 2007-07-30 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

Since when has Specter's intention to get "tough" been anything but a prelude to caving in to the White House?

by AMIDreaming 2007-07-30 05:07PM | 0 recs
I agree

Don't hold your breath while waiting on Arlen, unless you got compromising photos...

by molly bloom 2007-07-30 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

During the investigation it seems to me much of the withheld info will come out about Rove's oart in the firing. I also don't think Meyer's. Rove and Card can refuse to testify. And I'm pretty certain the courts have already ruled that their can be no claim to executive privelege during an impeachment hearing. And in the Senate, Impeachment can't be filibustered. And the best news of all.......? There is no pardon for impeachment. And Gonzo will never be allowed to hold public office ever again.

Remember 22 Reps Senators are up fpr re-elcetion in 08. So, those who don't vote for it, are sure to be pummelled by an agry electorate. Because this is one thing the populace will get. Justice must be even-handed and equal and no one is above the law.

by Dee Loralei 2007-07-30 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

Yes, this is very important. Impeachment hearings could mean that a lot of the secrets would come out or that it would be even more obvious that everyone in the Bush administration is lying and covering up horrible stuff.

by RandomNonviolence 2007-07-31 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

The Democrats need to move forward on this.  Perception that low approval ratings reflect on the Democrats by the talking heads in the media is false.  Surely GOP members facing re-election in 08 understand that the days they will be allowed to play obstructionist politics are coming to an end.  One would hope Gonzalez would be half as perceptive and start telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

by cwilcox 2007-07-30 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

A quick question about impeachment: suppose we impeach and succesfully convict and remove from office our friend the Attorney General. What is to prevent Bush from simply attempting to re-appoint him? (Or refusing to acknowledge the conviction, or some other slimey way to avoid being held accountable.)

Yeah, it's ridiculous and brazenly contemptuous of the Congress and constitutional precedent, but remember the dictum: to evaluate the Bush administration, predict the worst, and know that whatever finally comes will be worse than that.

by Zephyrus 2007-07-30 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

If the Congress voted to make Gonzales ineligible to hold office, then reappointing him would be a more blatant, slam-dunk violation of the Constitution than Bush has attempted yet. More likely he'd just appoint Harriet Miers.

by KCinDC 2007-07-30 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

If he were convicted and removed from office, the AG position would be vacant and any new nominee needed a senate confirmation, a recess appointment by Bush notwithstanding.

And Sen. Reid has already announced that he would try to avoid any possibility for a recess appointment.

by micha1976 2007-07-31 12:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

Presidents have been abusing recess appointments for so long that I don't think there's any way to get it under control now. Of course, as with many types of questionable presidential action, Bush didn't invent the recess appointment but has really pushed it.

I don't see how Reid can prevent a recess appointment. Bush would be quite willing to do one over a weekend, or overnight if necessary. After all, Teddy Roosevelt provides a precedent for appointing during a one-day recess. Reid can't keep the Senate in continuous session forever.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that there would have to be a Senate confirmation in the case of a recess appointment. Can you provide details?

by KCinDC 2007-07-31 05:09AM | 0 recs
Move to Impeach

"I gave Arlen Specter a bit of a jab towards the bottom of the post with the "not proven" line, but it looks like perhaps -- and I'm not holding my breath here -- but perhaps he's ready to get tough on the Bush administration."

Every year, Lucy yanks the football just as Charlie Brown is about to kick it, and he falls flat on his ass.  Same story here-- Specter makes a living by convincing liberals that he is a pricipled moderate Senator.  He is a lying jackass, and always comes around to the Party position in the end.

by global yokel 2007-07-30 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

I really hope the Dems move forward on this.  They need to do something to show a little strength and courage, and I'm appalled by what Gonzales has let happen to the reputation of the Justice Department.

by Steve M 2007-07-30 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

Gonzales will resign before this ever gets in front of the congress

by orin76 2007-07-30 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

Impeachment is a win/win situation. Almost everyone thinks he's a liar and should be kicked out of office. If Bush allows it to go forward without firing him it shows how much of an idiot he is all over again. Even if it fails the Dems will have a party line vote to appease the base as well as show the public that unless they send more Dems to the Senate the Republicans will continue to be a problem.

Option 1: Democrats get shit done
Option 2: Republicans are obstructors

by MNPundit 2007-07-30 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach

Impeachment, impeachment, that's all I hear.  I'll believe it when I see it.  I'm not holding my breath for it.

by reasonwarrior 2007-07-30 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

The next time you see a Republican talk trash about Democratic ethics, ask them about Gonzales. If they defend him and attack teh Dems for going after him, just do this - PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE.

by Pravin 2007-07-30 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins
I spilled my drink while laughing profusely.
by ahkiam 2007-07-30 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

The Dems shouldn't have trouble passing articles of impeaching against Gonzo in the House. I'm a bit concerned, however, about another high profile minority in the White House taking the fall for trying to protect Bush. I think if the Dems really move forwad on this... they need to make it clear that while Gonzo deserves whatever punishment he gets... he's just another Bush crony falling on the sword.

by BobbyNYC 2007-07-31 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

This is actually a ridiculous move. Yes, Gonzales needs to be impeached, but they need to impeach Cheney now before he gets us into a war with Iran.

This is a way out for the gutless Dems who have taken impeachment off the table.

by dantch 2007-07-31 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The Move to Impeach Alberto Gonzales Begins

I wouldn't exactly call the Dems gutless for not wanting to expend all of their political muscle in pushing what would ultimately be an unsuccessful Bush/Cheney impeachment. Have their been impeachable offenses? I think so. But, there's clear evidence of lying to Congress w/ Gonzo - so it's a much easier sell. That being said, I still have the concerns that I voiced a couple of comments above.

by BobbyNYC 2007-07-31 08:41AM | 0 recs
Recess appointment
What if he were to step down during recess then BUSH COULD DO A RECESS APPT. AND AVOID CONFIRMATION.
Any thoughts on that.
by del 2007-07-31 09:14AM | 0 recs

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