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White House reiterates ‘full confidence’ in Gonzales as GOP support slips
White House reiterates ‘full confidence’ in Gonzales as GOP support slips

[JURIST] The White House reiterated President Bush's "full confidence" in embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] at Friday morning's press gaggle [transcript]. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that the administration considers next week's proposed Senate vote of no-confidence in Gonzales [JURIST report] a political stunt, and that Gonzales can continue to serve without the support of Congress. Fratto's comments came as a fifth Senate Republican, Norm Coleman (R-MN), called for Gonzales to resign [statement]. Gonzales has been under fire for the allegedly political firings of nine federal prosecutors [JURIST news archive].

When questioned about recent testimony [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey [official profile] before the Senate Judiciary Committee that then-White House Counsel Gonzales attempted to pressure a hospitalized then-Attorney General John Ashcroft into reauthorizing the warrantless domestic wiretap program and whether President Bush ordered the visit, Fratto refused to answer, citing issues of national security. AP has more.