In a press conference in Chicago today, Alberto Gonzalez says that when his term as US attorney expires in October, he sees no reason why Patrick Fitzgerald would be out of a job:
The US attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez made it clear in Chicago Monday that a controversial and high-visibility justice department subordinate, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, will probably be reappointed by President Bush when his four-year term expires in October.It's an interesting development, because unlike other members of the 1600 crew, Gonzalez hasn't cowered behind a wall of McClellan-esque "ongoing investigation" silence, but answered questions about his involvement in the 12 hour gap from Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation two weeks ago. He wasn't too happy about letting Frank Rich's assertions in the New York Times the day before go unanswered, and although he most certainly had a permission slip to do so, it made McClellan look like a bigger tool than he already was.
"You'll have to ask the president as to whether or not he intends to find a new US attorney for this district. I will say from my vantage point as the attorney general, I have great confidence in Pat Fitzgerald," said Alberto Gonzalez, attorney general.
The article goes on to note that Dennis Hastert could probably give Fitzgerald the boot if he wanted to, but Hastert did a Pontius Pilate a couple of weeks ago too and said that Fitzgerald's future was up to Preznit Never Responsible. It seems like Gonzalez might be doing the same thing, and doesn't want to get set up to play the Robert Bork role in Saturday Night Massacre -- Part II.
Of course, the whole situation could change tomorrow. But maybe he's thinking that falling on his sword for a lame duck president isn't such a swift career move?
Update: Jeralyn over at TalkLeft says "It seems like it's getting to be 'each man for himself' time over at the White House, and Rove is starting the dump on Libby. No way is Rove going to allow himself to go down alone." Her analysis of the Libby waiver hoopla is quite compelling.