President George W. Bush on Monday accused Democrats in Congress who are seeking no-confidence votes on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of engaging in “pure political theater.”
Brushing aside concerns from Republicans as well as Democrats about the effectiveness of the chief U.S. law enforcement officer, Bush said: “He has got my confidence. He has done nothing wrong.”
Senate Democrats last week announced plans to offer a resolution of no confidence in Gonzales, and two Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced one on Monday. Neither measure is expected to be voted on until after Congress’ week-long recess, set to begin on Saturday.
Gonzales is the target of widening congressional investigations into the firing last year of nine of the 93 U.S. attorneys.
Bush and Gonzales maintain that the ousters were justified though mishandled. Critics charge it seems as if Gonzales politicized the Justice Department and the firing of a number of federal prosecutors.
Bush rejected those charges, saying: “I frankly view what’s taking place in Washington today as pure political theater.”
“And it is the kind of political theater that has caused the American people to lose confidence in how Washington operates,” Bush said at a joint news conference at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.