With Democrats, including the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, insisting that Mr. Gonzales step down, his appearances underscored what two Republicans close to the Bush administration described as a growing rift between the White House and the attorney general. Mr. Gonzales has long been a confidant of the president but has aroused the ire of lawmakers of both parties on several issues, including the administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.So Fred Fielding is suddenly weighing in. I take it his opinion, as disseminated through aides, doesn't become known to the New York Times unless he wants it to? The White House counsel is saying publicly he has no confidence in Gonzalez. I'd find it hard to believe that Gonzalez will be around much longer. Bush's "loyalty" quotient and stubbornness will keep Gonzalez hanging on for a while, but once the subpoenas start flying, all bets are off.
The two Republicans, who spoke anonymously so they could share private conversations with senior White House officials, said top aides to Mr. Bush, including Fred F. Fielding, the new White House counsel, were concerned that the controversy had so damaged Mr. Gonzales’s credibility that he would be unable to advance the White House agenda on national security matters, including terrorism prosecutions.
“I really think there’s a serious estrangement between the White House and Alberto now,” one of the Republicans said. (emphasis added)
When push comes to shove, the foot soldiers have to take the blame in order to insulate Bush and Rove...there goes Libby, now Miers (already gone, likely in foresight of this issue) and Gonzalez. Despite the absurdity of the position they're taking. The U.S. attorneys serve "at the pleasure of the president" yet at the same time they're publicly arguing Bush was unaware of what was going on! It's surreal. The buck stops nowhere.
White House officials repeated Tuesday that Mr. Bush had not called for the removal of any particular United States attorney and said there was no evidence the president had been aware that the Justice Department had initiated a process to generate a list of which prosecutors should lose their jobs.This is just so farcical. They're Bush's political appointments, yet he's blissfully unaware as to the plans that Harriet Miers, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove are hatching to dump the disloyal prosecutors...right.