by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 23 April 2007) – Senator Arlen Specter says he’s disappointed with what he’s learned in the controversy over fired federal attorneys and U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
But at a state Capitol appearance, he still did not call on Gonzales to resign.
One reporter asked Specter whether he thought efforts to revise Patriot Act to allow attorney firings truly were linked to efforts to rank attorneys based on loyalty to the President.
Specter hesitated, then answered.
"Well, they – I’m – they may have been, they may have been," Specter said. "I don’t think it does us a whole lot of good to speculate about it. I think what we have to do is find out about their loyalty list and whether there was justification for asking these U.S. attorneys to resign. Look here: the President has the authority to replace all of the U.S. attorneys. You can replace U.S. attorneys for no reason, but you can’t replace them for a bad reason."
But ultimately, Specter said, it’s up to Gonzales to choose to resign or to the President to ask Gonzales to do so.