Orrin Hatch for attorney general?
From the “Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse” Department, Sen. Patrick Leahy says “the rumor on the Hill” last week was that Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was “actively running” for the job as Alberto Gonzales’ replacement.
Of course, Hatch couldn’t replace Gonzales unless Gonzales leaves first, and Hatch doesn’t seem too interested in making that happen. Here’s how he tried to explain away Gonzales’ role in the U.S. attorney purge on “Meet the Press” Sunday:
“You know, I don’t think you can have these high positions without having somebody nitpicking at you all the time and without finding fault. And, yes, this has been badly handled. But it was badly handled by people who, by, I would say, not by Justice — by Judge Gonzales, but by others in, in the Justice Department … All I can say is this, Alberto Gonzales, you know, he’s the first Hispanic-American ever put in this high position. He is an honest man. My experience with him has been extensive. I have never seen him prevaricate, I have never seen him do anything that was wrong. In this particular case, he misstated, there’s no question about it. He was inaccurate … I think he’ll be the first to tell you that. But you can interpret things various ways, and I would wait until he testifies. He’ll have to answer some of these questions. And let’s give the man a fair — at least some fairness, a fair chance to be able to explain why this happened under his watch and he was not totally prepared to, to handle all the problems that came up.”
Gonzales is scheduled to answer questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee — the committee Leahy chairs and on which Hatch sits — on April 17. Although the White House has suggested that it’s unhappy that Gonzales is waiting so long to testify, the Politico’s Mike Allen says that the administration didn’t do anything to move up the hearing date until this weekend, when — knowing that the Senate was out of session for spring break this week — White House counselor Dan Bartlett started suggesting publicly that if the Democrats were serious about getting to the bottom of the purge scandal quickly, they’d let Gonzales testify … this week.
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Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
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