My main argument would be that he did nothing illegal (see numerous other threads), but is there another reason such as the Demos don’t think they could win a House vote or a Senate vote (if Gonzales doesn’t resign)? Does Pelosi want to appear to non-confrontational? Is there an unwritten rule against impeaching Cabinet officers (Sec. Belknap was only impeached once it was too obvious as to what he was doing to ignore it). Are the Demos willing to let it go to use against the Reps in 2008?
Yes, he could be impeached. But it won’t get that far, because Bush will fire him before he can be impeached. But they won’t impeach him tomorrow simply based on the information that is public today, there is a lot more information that Congress desires to make public first.
If you like, consider these hearings the preliminary stages for impeachment. They are turning up all sorts of interesting information. They are getting witnesses to come in and testify under oath. Eventually Gonzales will either be cleared (I mean, this is theoretically possible), or he’ll hang on despite the scandal, or he’ll resign/be fired, or he’ll be forced out. Demanding impeachment hearings NOW isn’t helpful, because the early stages of impeachment hearings would have to be pretty similar to what’s happening now…discovery of information, getting testimony of witnesses, uncovering documents, and so forth.
There won’t be a presentation of a bill of impeachment until the case against Gonzales has already been built.
To impeach Gonzales would take the attention away from Bush and put it on the Dems. and Gonzales. As it is, people keep wondering why Bush continues to support him. Of course Bush continues to support him because he doesn’t want to have to nominate a successor and go through the confirmation process, plus it would appear to be another failure if Bush asks for the resignation. IMHO Bush has entered a ‘bunker mentality’ phase in his presidency, both toward the war in Iraq and the remainder of his term. Bush is going to tough it out and avoid any action that might imply any misjudgement on his part, and Gonzales is ‘his man’.
Give it another month. Gonzo will resign “to spend more time with his family.” Is that still the standard line that disgraced politicos use? Or do they all just go to rehab now?
I thought impeachment is something spelled out in the constitution. Since the Presidential cabinet isn’t mentioned in the constitution how can a cabinet member be impeached? Does the constitution have some kind of umbrella clause?
The answer to the question is mostly political, so I cannot explain it here in General Questions. I must shrug and walk away. Sorry.
Article II., Section 4.
Gonzales is a civil officer under the Constitution. He is subject to impeachment.
This one strikes me as a debate. Moved to Great Debates.
samclem GQ moderator
Impeachment, according to the Founding Fathers, was the remedy for those officials who through professional or personal misconduct violated the public trust and vitiated our republican form of government. Accordingly, Article VI, Paragraph 3, of our constitution provides, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…” And Article II, Section 4 notes, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Thre is authorization in the law, but I think it would be very difficult to find a reasonable charge to impeach Gonzales and it would be politically impossible. Better to let him hang himself, in the court of public opinion, w/ his ridiculous denialsof responsibility. If he’s not guilty of a crime, he’s certainly guilty of gross imcompetence.
It’s not easy. In all of American history, only seventeen federal officials have been impeached (two presidents, one cabinet officer, one senator, and thirteen judges). Only seven of those were removed from office by the Senate.
I’ve seen speculation on HuffPo and Kos that he’ll resign right before the Memorial Day weekend, and W will ram a “recess appointment” through.
Otherwise, my guess is that he’ll stay to the bitter end - surely at least one of Bush’s handlers understands they’ll never get another “loyalty is my only qualification” Gonzo through the confirmation process, and the one thing this administration probably really fears is someone with the concept of…oh, hell, what’s it called, oh, yeah, justice…running the DoJ.
Here’s the letter the Senate sent to him a couple days ago:
What with his pitiful testimony and the rising stink of the Ashcroft/hospital story, it looks like they’re building a strong case for his removal (if not formally, at least through a bit of bad PR/arm-twisting).
Can Gonzalez be impeached? Sure. He’s a Civil Officer of the United States (see Art. II, Sec. 4, U.S.Const.)
For what? Well, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. We don’t have a huge amount of precedent to go on here, but abusing the powers of one’s office for nakedly political ends has always been a part of that. Note that there is a legally proper if ethically debatable use of such powers. If you’re the Sheriff, and a Democrat, you are well within your rights to appoint all Democrats for your deputies. You are not within your rights to say to them, “Ticket only Republicans for traffic offenses, let the Democrats go”; that’s abuse. And if you just had a sudden urge to arrest all participants in a Republican political rally on Election Eve, and hold them until court sits again (the Wednesday after Election Day) – well, you can expect to take a state-approved course in license plate manufacture shortly thereafter. Translate the above into Attorney General situations to get the reasons for Gonzalez; I’ve spelled it out in simple local terms.
Would he be impeached? Tripartite situation here: If he, Bush, or the collective wisdom of Rove’s operatives comes to the conclusion he’s a liability, he’ll be put in the position where he will resign. Even for the most offensive of violations will a President almost never insist on his right to fire, or the staffer his to be fired; the mutual face-saving of a requested resignation is what is used.
And only if Mr. Gonzalez refuses to resign and Mr. Bush to fire him, and there is evidence that a successful impeachment and trial can be done, would Ms. Pelosi and her House colleagues and the Senate leadership proceed in that direction.
It has not yet come to the point where public pressure is sufficiently heavy to overcome Mr. Bush’s loyalty to his staff. And likewise the pressure has not built up on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.
Why haven’t they done it yet?
Not enough public pressure yet.
Bush’s morality is that of a 14-year-old boy. Absolute abstract principles taken as ultimate values regardless of who they hurt; those against us are evil; expediency in how to implement them; lying to other than friends is acceptable if it accomplishes a greater good; you can con anyone that it’s somebody else’s fault; and absolute loyalty to one’s friends. Gonzy won’t resign until he or Rove is convinced that he’s an absolute liability to the Administration, and Bush won’t accept that he needs to ask for his resignation.
The House needs a majority prepared to impeach, and the Senate a two-thirds majority to convict. That means Ms. Pelosi won’t go for a resolution to impeach until she’s relatively sure of a majority and the Senate leaders believe they can put together a supermajority. The Senate being composed as it is, that means about 16 Republican Senators (and a couple of more-or-less-pro-Bush Democrats) hold the balance of power.
Patience, young padawan. Patience.
With all due respect to the “Dems”, that’s exactly why they have a reputation for having no balls. Leaders have to take the spotlight sometimes. And it doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough votes for impeachment. They passed the stupid timetable bill knowing there wouldn’t be enough votes to override the veto. I guess they’ve moved on to the wheeling and dealing stages of their terms. They’ve got their offices, their staffs, and their perks. Why upset the apple cart? Fucking cowards.
Let’s look on the bright side: I hear there’s an opening at the World Bank. Perhaps Gonzales will soon receive a “promotion.”
Not if Tony Blair gets it first.
I think that the reason he’s not been asked to resign yet is also the reason he’s not going to be asked to resign. Gonzalez is all that’s standing between Bush and serious repercussions (possibly including impeachment) for the politicization of the Executive branch. Any replacement would have be subject to Senate approval, and there’s NO WAY that Bush is going to be able to push through another Gonzalez. Whoever takes his place would have to have a commitment to actually running the DoJ as it’s supposed to be run instead of how Bush wants it run, and that would include complying with the current Congressional oversight requests. Bush can’t have that. So no resignation. No firing. No change in the status quo originating in the Oval Office. Period.
Too controversial, plus Blair is a Euro.
Now John Bolton, there’s an American with diplomatic experience.