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The Two Most Serious Charges Against Alberto Gonzales

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When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies before  the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week, there are two very serious charges that can be brought against him: First, that he deliberately lied to the Committee when he said that he was not involved in any discussions about the firings of the United States Attorneys; and second, that he  violated Title 18, Section 595 of the United States Code, which prohibits him from using his official authority for the purpose of affecting Congressional elections.

This law says, "Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department or agency thereof . . . uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

This is a criminal offense which would subject him to a fine or imprisonment, or both.

If it can be shown that the firing of even one  of the U. S. Attorneys was part of an attempt by him to help Republicans in future elections -- by slowing down investigations of Republicans or speeding up investigations of Democrats -- then he would be guilty of breaking this law.

"But that's just politics," some might say. "Of course he will try to help Republicans. What else would you expect him to do? The position of Attorney General is a political job, right? He's allowed to try to help his team, isn't he?"

Wrong. The Law is very clear in this matter: He is not allowed to use his official authority for the purpose of affecting a Congressional election. And therefore if he fired even one of these attorneys in order to weaken even one Democratic candidate or strengthen even one Republican candidate, he violated the law. Yes, Gonzales' appointment was a "political appointment," but he is required by the law to perform his job in such a way that he does not ever use his official authority to affect the outcome of a Congressional election. It is okay for him to try to help implement the President's policies -- as long as they are legal -- but it is not okay for him to try to influence an election.

You can read the entire Title 18, Section 595, unedited, at the link below. See for yourself what it says.


The HTML version of this message, with expanded links and updates, is located at

Blessings to you. May God help us all.


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Rev. Bill McGinnis is an Internet Christian minister, writer and publisher. He is Director of, a small private think tank in Alexandria, Virginia, and all of its related websites, including (more...)
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