May 24, 2007

Schumer, Feinstein & Whitehouse: Gonzales No Confidence Vote Coming After Immigration

Goodling's Testimony Yesterday Only Intensified the Need For A New Attorney General Politicization and Dysfunction Rampant at Justice Department; Congress Has a Right and a Responsibility to Weigh in

Washington, DC – Today U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) announced their intention to bring a vote of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The joint resolution will be brought before the Senate for a vote at the conclusion of debate on the immigration bill.

“We fully intend to bring this vote, we expect it to pass, and for the good of the Justice Department and the rule of law in this country, we believe it is the right thing to do,” Schumer said. “Former FEMA director Mike Brown used to be the symbol of this Administration’s lack of competence and credibility, but now we have a new one. I know the President thinks Gonzales is doing a ‘heckuva job,’ but sadly, no one else agrees.”

“The simple truth is that Attorney General Gonzales has lost the confidence of many of us in the United States Senate. He is clearly not a strong leader in control of this large and critical department. He has also lost the confidence of the American public,” Feinstein said.

“As a former United States Attorney, I’ve seen up close the time-honored traditions of the Department of Justice—traditions which serve to prevent political interference and ensure the fair administration of justice,” Whitehouse said. “Over the past few years, we have seen those traditions systematically destroyed or degraded, and the Attorney General must be held responsible. For America to regain its faith and confidence in our federal justice system, it’s time for this Attorney General to go.”

Yesterday Monica Goodling, former Justice Department aide and White House liaison, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. She admitted to taking political ideology into consideration when interviewing applicants for career attorney positions, and expressed regret in favoring applicants with Republican credentials.

Ms. Goodling also recounted a run-in with the Attorney General himself, where he had tried to discuss with her the events leading up to the purge of multiple U.S. Attorneys. Ms. Goodling testified that this had made her “uncomfortable,” with regard to their roles as fact witnesses in a Congressional investigation.

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