Chuck Schumer, New York Times Call for AG Gonzales to Resign


Saying that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “either doesn’t accept or doesn’t understand that he is no longer just the president’s lawyer, but has a higher obligation to the rule of law and the Constitution,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for Gonzales to resign today on Face the Nation. You can see the video on ThinkProgress.

An editorial in the New York Times today says essentially the same thing. It calls for Gonzales to step down because he “never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency.” Gotta love the Times.

The Times makes it clear that Gonzales has got to go not just because of this new flap with the fired U.S. Attorneys and not because of the F.B.I.’s newly exposed overreach in gathering information about Americans. It’s because of his body of work.

It was Mr. Gonzales, after all, who repeatedly defended Mr. Bush’s decision to authorize warrantless eavesdropping on Americans’ international calls and e-mail. He was an eager public champion of the absurd notion that as commander in chief during a time of war, Mr. Bush can ignore laws that he thinks get in his way. Mr. Gonzales was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it.

The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.

His Justice Department has abandoned its duties as guardian of election integrity and voting rights. It approved a Georgia photo-ID law that a federal judge later likened to a poll tax, a case in which Mr. Gonzales’s political team overrode the objections of the department’s professional staff.

The Justice Department has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters.

The Bush Administration has a long history of naming appointees to oversee areas they once lobbied on. It would make sense, then, that the Attorney General “more than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney… symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.”

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate