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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. the president. Once he can no longer be useful in that role, it’s a sure thing that like Scooter before him, Fredo will be tossed overboard. Gonzales has to go but the problem for this administration is who will replace him. There are few realistic choices. Anyone with any gravitas would be less than willing to take the job and those who would be acceptable to GW would lack the gravitas necessary to gain Senate approval. Hmmm! This suggests to me that Abu is going to remain the Attorney General of the

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  4. Michael says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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