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Is Gonzales cleaning out his desk yet?

Apparently the White House knows the paper trail leads up to the top, so it is already floating names of possible replacements for Alberto Gonzales. The Justice Department just released more internal communications surrounding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year that suggest the firings were politically motivated.

One prominent Republican, who earlier had predicted that Gonzales would survive the controversy, said he expected both Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty to resign soon. Another well-connected Republican said that White House officials have launched an aggressive search for Gonzales’ replacement, though Bush hadn’t decided whether to ask for his resignation.

Support for Gonzales appeared to be collapsing under the weight of questions about his truthfulness and his management ability. White House spokesman Tony Snow offered a tepid defense when asked if Gonzales would stay on the job until the end of President Bush’s term.

… Possible replacements for Gonzales include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Security and Exchange Commission chairman Chris Cox, White House anti-terrorism adviser Fran Townsend, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson.

Lord have mercy — Michael Chertoff?! The overseer of the Katrina response?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding