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Archive for Monday, April 23, 2007

Influential Republicans press for Gonzales’ ouster

April 23, 2007

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— Influential Republicans are pressing President Bush privately and publicly to fire Alberto Gonzales, arguing the attorney general's performance is hurting the White House.

Gonzales has been battered since he gave conflicting accounts about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

Last week, he was savaged by Democrats and Republicans alike after telling an incredulous Senate Judiciary Committee dozens of times he couldn't recall key facts.

"I think he's got to go," a senior Republican official with close ties to the White House told the New York Daily News. "The president's advisers are trying to get him to realize that."

White House aides are privately telling Bush that keeping Gonzales will destroy any hope of getting a cherished immigration bill through the Judiciary Committee.

"Without the committee there is no immigration bill, and with Gonzales there is no committee," the official said. "The Republicans have had it."

Those sentiments were echoed by party leaders who hit the talk show circuit Sunday, including Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the committee.

"The attorney general's testimony was very, very damaging to his own credibility," Specter said on "Fox News Sunday." "It has been damaging to the administration."

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