In April 2007, then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took a five-hour verbal lashing from Senators in a panel hearing over the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. Members from both parties on the Senate Judiciary Committee dug into Gonzales, alleging the prosecutors may have been fired for political reasons even though the positions are supposed to be nonpartisan. Gonzales apologized for the handling of the firings but maintained their propriety.
The Senators continued their assault, some questioning Gonzales' ability to lead the Justice Department, while others, such as Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, urged him to step down. "The best way to put this behind us is your resignation," Coburn said. Though the session was called a "reconfirmation hearing" by some, then President George W. Bush was the only person who could actually remove Gonzales from office. Bush stood by his Attorney General at the time, but after months of embattlement, Gonzales submitted his resignation in August 2007.