On Sunday, several top Democratic senators said that U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign following revelations that the FBI abused their authority under the Patriot Act, and the questionable mass firing of several U.S. prosecutors. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a statement that said, in part, “From the mishandling of the U.S. attorney firings to the now-documented abuses of the Patriot Act to wiretapping without a warrant to decimating the Civil Rights Division, there has been a continuing pattern of mismanagement and disrespect for the rule of law.”

Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said “I think we’d be better off if he did (resign), but that’s a judgment the president is going to have to make.” Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said that he thinks there have been lots of problems at the Justice Department, but it is up to President Bush to decide whether Gonzales stays or goes, but at a Senate meeting last week Specter said that, “one day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later.”

The latest flare-ups between Congress and Gonzales are nothing new. Congress has battled Gonzales on the warrant less wiretapping issue, and Gonzales’ role in the shaping of policies that led to the torture and treatment of federal detainees. However, the White House has continued to stand by Gonzales. “As you heard from the president yesterday, he has confidence in the attorney general,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. “The attorney general has shown leadership by demanding a new and higher level of accountability over the FBI’s use of national security letters in terrorism investigations.”

The Democratic controlled Congress is also looking into whether any of the fired U.S attorneys were let go because they were too tough on Republicans in their criminal probes, and not tough enough on Democrats. Congressional hearings are also planned into a Justice Department audit that found that the FBI has abused some of the powers granted to them under the Patriot Act. I don’t know how long Gonzales can hold up under the weight of each growing scandal, but as the White House demonstrated in the case of Donald Rumsfeld, it will take a major event, before they will ever let a loyal soldier go.

 

Jason Easley is a political columnist for, and the editor of the the politics zone at www.411mania.com/politics 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (et) as the host of the The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse

 

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