No-confidence vote being organized against attorney general

first_imgJustice Department spokesmen would not confirm the names of any of the prosecutors, but said the lists mostly represented the preliminary thinking of D. Kyle Sampson, Gonzales’ former chief of staff, who was in charge of the dismissals. “These lists, some drafted long before the December resignations, reflect Kyle Sampson’s thoughts for discussion during the consultation process,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. “Many names on these lists clearly did not represent the final actions or views of the attorney general.” Nonetheless, the new disclosures brought a fresh wave of criticism of Gonzales. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Thursday that Gonzales should resign; he was reacting in part to the fact that Thomas Heffelfinger, a former U.S. attorney in his state, was placed on one of the dismissal lists. In addition, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Gonzales’ resignation should now be considered a possibility. “When you have to spend more time up here on Capitol Hill instead of running the Justice Department, maybe you ought to think about it,” Roberts said. WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’ standing in Congress weakened further Thursday as Senate Democrats arranged to hold a no-confidence vote and the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee predicted that the furor over Gonzales’ stewardship would end with his resignation. Gonzales’ already shaky position eroded after reports this week about an episode in 2004 when as White House counsel he was involved in an apparent effort to circumvent Justice Department officials who had refused to renew authority for a secret domestic eavesdropping program. And Thursday, The Washington Post identified several U.S. attorneys who appeared on various Justice Department lists in 2005 and 2006 as potential candidates for dismissal. It had been known that a number of prosecutors were added and removed from various Justice Department lists as officials planned the dismissals. The Post account, confirmed by government officials, said that in addition to the eight prosecutors who were dismissed, as many as 18 others had been considered for removal at various times. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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