"Williams: Given that, then how can you be certain that none of these U.S. attorneys were put on that list for improper reasons?Amazing. Gonzales swears that he was not involved in the reasons for the firings, but he knows that the firings were not political.
Gonzales: What I can say is this: I know the reasons why I asked you — these United States attorneys to leave. And it — it was not for improper reasons. It was not to interfere with the public corruption case. It was not for partisan reasons.
I also — we also know that there's nothing in the documents that indicates that they were asked to leave for improper reasons. But all — but lastly, just to be sure, I have asked for an internal — review by the Office of Professional Responsibility, working with the Office of Inspector General. And, of course, the Congress is going to be doing its own review because I want to know as well if, in fact, there were improper reasons, we — we should know about it. And there will be accountability.
Williams: To put this question another way — if you didn't review their performance during this process, then how can you be certain that they were fired for performance reasons?
Gonzales: I — I've given — I've given the answer to the question, Pete. I know — I know the reasons why I made the decision. "
Gonzales still says that performance is the issue--even though the job reviews suggest the opposite.
Worst President ever. Oh, and btw, Gonzales is trying to hang his deputy on this. And then there is this from freaking Bob Novak of all people
Republicans in Congress do not trust their president to protect them. That alone is sufficient reason to withhold statements of support for Gonzales, because such a gesture could be quickly followed by his resignation under pressure. Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.), the highly regarded young chairman of the House Republican Conference, praised Donald Rumsfeld in November only to see him sacked shortly thereafter.Is this where I say "I told you so?"
But not many Republican lawmakers would speak up for Gonzales even if they were sure Bush would stick with him. He is the least popular Cabinet member on Capitol Hill, even more disliked than Rumsfeld was. The word most often used by Republicans to describe the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."
The I-word (incompetence) is also used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to cited a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the USA Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco. "We always have claimed that we were the party of better management," one House leader told me. "How can we claim that anymore?"