Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some House Democrats are calling for impeachment hearings against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to begin in the House Judiciary Committee unless he voluntarily resigns or is dismissed by President Bush.
"There is a national embarrassment in the United States attorney general's office," said Rep Jay Inslee, D-Washington, the resolution's author. "It needs to be remedied. And if the president does not do his clear job, we will do ours."
Inslee and 14 other Democrats introduced a resolution Tuesday ordering the House Judiciary Committee to "investigate whether Alberto R. Gonzales, attorney general of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors."
The measure's sponsors cite Gonzales' controversial testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the domestic surveillance program and the firing of several United States attorneys as adequate grounds for impeachment hearings.
"An investigation will root out all the details and will move us in the right direction," said Rep Ben Chandler, D-Kentucky.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not explicitly support the resolution, but said it "reflects significant sentiment in Congress and around the country. Alberto Gonzales has not been candid and truthful with the Congress of the United States and the American people."
Unlike the House Judiciary Committee's recent contempt of Congress charges against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, intervention by the Department of Justice would not be needed for an impeachment investigation, supporters of the measure say.
"The president thinks he has a checkmate over democracy," Inslee said. "Well, he cannot checkmate an impeachment inquiry. This is the tool in the toolbox we can use."
A spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee did not say if the resolution will be taken up by the committee when Congress returns from August recess.
–CNN Congressional Producer Evan Glass