Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales faced more criticism Sunday as a senior Republican lawmaker said President Bush's longtime aide had hurt the administration, the Justice Department and his own standing in his latest effort to explain the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.Referring to Gonzales' high-profile appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said: "The attorney general's testimony was very, very damaging to his own credibility. It has been damaging to the administration, because without answers as to what really happened, there is a lot of speculation."Specter said accusations were being made that the Justice Department, in carrying out the firings, had acted as "the political arm of the White House." Gonzales, he said, had failed to put those claims to rest in testimony where he frequently said he could not remember details of the process that led to the firings.Specter, the ranking GOP member of the Judiciary Committee, stopped short of calling for Gonzales to resign. He said it was up to Gonzales and Bush to decide whether that was the right course.Specter made his comments on "Fox News Sunday."Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, chastised Bush on ABC's "This Week" for letting "personal loyalty transcend service to the nation" by not forcing Gonzales to step down.Gingrich reiterated his call, made earlier this month, for Gonzales to resign.
If even Gingrich wants you to resign ... get your ass out of the way Gonzales