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Specter: Gonzales may resign before no-confidence vote

[JURIST] US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official profile], the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that he believed a "sizable number" of Republican members of Congress would join Democrats in a vote of no-confidence [JURIST report] in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive]. In his appearance [transcript; recorded video] on CBS News' Face the Nation, Specter also said he had a "sense" Gonzales may step down "before the vote [of no-confidence] is taken." Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson Brian Roehrkasse, told reporters Sunday that Gonzales "remains focused on the important work that the American people expect him to do." AP has more.

Last Thursday, Specter predicted that Gonzales would resign soon [JURIST report] as a result of the firing of eight US attorneys [JURIST news archive]. Last Wednesday, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) called for the resignation [JURIST report] of Gonzales after hearing testimony [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] from former US Deputy Attorney General James Comey [official profile] regarding an attempt by Gonzales to persuade former Attorney General John Ashcroft [official profile; JURIST news archive] to reauthorize the warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] while he was incapacitated in the hospital, critically ill with pancreatitis. Although the event did not relate to the firing of the nine US attorneys for which Gonzales is currently being investigated, Hagel said that it showed Gonzales lacked the "moral authority to lead" the DOJ.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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