Gonzales to Congress: Move on

The attorney general says it's time for Congress to get over the prosecutor purge.

Published May 9, 2007 4:30PM (EDT)

In testimony prepared for delivery before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, Alberto Gonzales says it's time to move on from the controversy over the firing of eight -- or was it nine? -- U.S. attorneys last year. "Recent events must not deter us from our mission," Gonzales will say. "I ask the committee to join me in that commitment and that re-dedication."

As the Associated Press says, that's going to be a "tough sell."

Indeed, with investigators still working the case for the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department itself, even the White House is having a hard time getting on board Gonzales' "move on" train. From today's White House press briefing:

Reporter: Does the president think it's time to move on?

Tony Snow: Well, look, this is certainly being vetted and members of Congress are taking a look at it, but he still supports the attorney general fully and wholly.

Reporter: Does the president think it's time to move on from this controversy, or does he think there's still some things need looking into?

Snow: I don't know, Mark. It's a contentious question that I'm -- it's just -- the fact is, what you're trying to do is to get me to respond to a quote. The president is -- supports the attorney general. He also understands that members of Congress can ask whatever questions they want to ask. He's not going to try to get in the way of their prerogatives. The attorney general thinks it's time to move on. But if members of Congress have questions, they'll ask it, and he'll make the point and presumably provide the data so they can draw the same conclusion.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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