Beleaguered Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales worked the phones on Friday, throwing out lines to congressional bigwigs in the wake of his unconvincing performance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but two more key Republicans aren’t buying his act. In fact, they’re also suggesting that he step down.
Rep. Adam H. Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Republican Conference, became the highest-ranking House Republican to call for Gonzales to step down, declaring Friday, “It’s time for fresh leadership.”
“There’s been an erosion of confidence certainly in the Congress in his ability to continue to lead” the Justice Department, said Putnam.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a Judiciary panel member, urged Gonzales to spend the weekend reflecting on his leadership, and then have a “frank” discussion with the White House.
“If he and the president decide that he cannot be an effective leader moving forward, then he should resign,” Sessions said. “As he said during the hearing, ‘It’s not about Al Gonzales.’ The bottom line is that he must do what is in the best interest of the Department of Justice.”