ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Reports: The White House is getting increasingly impatient with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Officials are frustrated that Gonzales is taking so long to get up to Capitol Hill to attempt damage control on last year’s controversial firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
It was on March 14th that President Bush said, "Al was right, mistakes were made, and he’s going to go up to Capitol Hill to correct them."
Fifteen days later, he still has not made it to face Congress. In fact, he’s not scheduled to appear on the Hill until he testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee about the matter on April 17.
The timing of that hearing was determined by committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), but Republicans at the White House and in Congress think Gonzales should have asked for an earlier hearing or, at the very least, should be meeting one-on-one with key members of the committee.
With today’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of his former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, contradicting Gonzales’ statements on the matter, the White House believes there is renewed urgency for Gonzales to get out there and explained what happened.
The White House does not want Gonzales to wait until his scheduled testimony on April 17th to clarify the record. Even the White House’s Deputy Press Secretary, Dana Perino, sounded a little frustrated at today’s briefing, observing, "Three weeks is a long time."