Why Bush Needs Gonzales

How is the embattled Attorney General still clinging to his position? Because he's the President's last protection against an investigation of the Administration

Christopher Morris / VII for TIME

U.S. President George W. Bush with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

If cabinet members were perishable goods, Alberto Gonzales would have passed his "sell by" date sometime last spring. Since January, when he first faced sharp questioning over the firing of U.S. Attorneys, the Attorney General has earned disastrous reviews for his inconsistent testimony, poor judgment and for appearing to place loyalty to the White House above service to the public. By June it was hard to find a Republican willing to defend him. Now Gonzales' dissembling testimony about a controversial domestic-spying program has raised suspicions about what he is hiding and fueled new calls for him to go. Senate Democrats have...

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