Newsweek Dishes on Why Gonzales Bailed
September 02, 2007
Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Richard Wolffe dish out the backstory on Gonzales' departure:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told friends he resigned last week at the urging of his wife following a summer vacation. But he had plenty of reasons to leave the capital. Just days earlier, congressional leaders had signaled they intended to keep the attorney general in their crosshairs this fall, forcing him to testify at length about the administration's warrantless surveillance efforts before they would consider passing new legislation on the subject.
That prospect, combined with hints that an internal Justice Department probe was expanding to include allegations that Gonzales had lied to Congress, created mounting anxiety at the White House, according to officials who asked not to be identified talking about internal deliberations. A former colleague urged Gonzales to step down months ago, but the A.G. hung onÃ¢â‚¬â€believing the president wanted him to stay, the official said. By last week, that no longer seemed to be the case. One big reason: an internal review by chief of staff Josh Bolten concluded that Gonzales was so politically weak he had become an obstacle to Bush's agenda, especially on the passage of an updated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance law.