Former Nixon administration counsel to the president John Dean looks at the conduct of Alberto Gonzales from the outset of the Purgegate affair and draws some conclusions: perjury, obstruction of justice, orchestration of a potentially criminal conspiracy, and copious contempt of Congress. Plus a healthy dose of contempt for the Department of Justice and the Constitution thrown in. Dean concludes that the affaire Gonzales cannot be permitted to end with Gonzales’s departure from Justice; it requires a criminal investigation of Gonzales at this point.
It strikes me, then, that the Justice Department has effectively admitted that the Attorney General lied. It further strikes me that Gonzales’s repeated dissembling has earned him a Special Counsel investigation. But, unfortunately, that is an appointment the Attorney General himself would have to make. And currently, there is no deputy attorney general. As an interim action, it appears that the U.S. Senate may pass a resolution of “no confidence” in the Attorney General, so members of the Senate can go on record that they do not approve of Gonzales’s behavior even if President Bush does.
It is painful to watch this implosion at the Department of Justice. If the Senate does not at minimum adopt a no confidence resolution, I wonder how much longer the career attorneys in the Department will stand for it, before they organize enough support, among themselves, to tell Gonzales that either he goes, or they go – which would simply shut down the Department of Justice.
Gonzales’s continuation in office serves two objectives: the first, to detract attention from Karl Rove, who now clearly emerges as the author of Purgegate and the related “voting fraud” fraud; second, to use the office of attorney general to obstruct both the Congressional investigation and the appointment of a special prosecutor to begin the now inevitable criminal investigation of Gonzales and his associates.