Gonzales Watch: No Call Yet to Senator Pryor


Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent Chitra Ragavan reports the latest on the attorney general and his relationship with Congress:

At last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, one Republican senator had a piece of what he called "personal advice" for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

South Carolina's Lindsey Graham told Gonzales that he should make it a point to make it up with Graham's Democratic colleague, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who believes Gonzales lied to him about the Bush administration's commitment to replacing the fired Arkansas U.S. attorney with someone who met with Pryor's approval and could win Senate confirmation.

"You know, we all respect Senator Pryor," Graham told Gonzales, "and he said some pretty harsh things, which is out of character. So I would just advise you to sit down with him and walk through what happened, because I think he's a reasonable fellow, and you all straighten that out if you can."

Gonzales responded that he would take Graham's advice to heart. "Senator, I couldn't agree more," Gonzales said. "I have a great deal of admiration for Senator Pryor, and I think that's a good idea."

But Pryor's communications director Michael Teague said today that Gonzales has not yet reached out to the senator. After Thursday's hearings, Gonzales called numerous senators. But so far, Pryor has apparently not made it on his to-do list.

Gonzales today did attend a news conference announcing a new administration identity theft initiative and said that he planned to stay on as attorney general. And President Bush this morning said he has increased confidence in Gonzales after Thursday's hearing.