White House Seeking Gonzales Replacements

The search is on to replace Alberto Gonzales, reports The Politico‘s Mike Allen.

Republican officials operating at the behest of the White House have begun seeking a possible successor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose support among GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has collapsed, according to party sources familiar with the discussions.

Among the names floated Monday by administration officials are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and White House anti-terrorism coordinator Frances Townsend. Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson is a White House prospect. So is former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson, but sources were unsure whether he would want the job.

Republican sources also disclosed that it is now a virtual certainty that Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, whose incomplete and inaccurate congressional testimony about the prosecutors helped precipitate the crisis, will also resign shortly. Officials were debating whether Gonzales and McNulty should depart at the same time or whether McNulty should go a day or two after Gonzales. Still known as “The Judge” for his service on the Texas Supreme Court, Gonzales is one of the few remaining original Texans who came to Washington with President Bush.

The vagueness of the story — Which Republican officials? Who at the White House? Possible this, maybe that — is enough to warrant skepticism. Still, it would be a prudent move to have a contingency plan in place in case this all goes south.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Supreme Court, Terrorism, Uncategorized, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael says:

    Finally, Bush gets another chance to nominate Harriet Myers! Stay the course, after all.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    In actually atleast according to some sources I have read, McNulty and some career Democrat Justice employees are responsible for most of this. McNulty is the deputy who wrote that the 8 fired attorneys were fired for poor performance, and his office was leaking like a sieve about White House communications. Looks like his ploy cost his job. I would look for Soros money.

  3. Anderson says:

    Too bad Hans Frank was hanged — he’d be a natural for the position.

    As has been pointed out, the last thing this administration can tolerate is a straight-arrow AG who’ll apply the law impartially and call ’em as he sees ’em.