Pressure built in both houses of Congress for Gonzales to resign, and the possibility of impeachment arose as critics questioned whether he had lied to Congress. Frank Bowman, a University of Missouri law professor who called for Gonzales's impeachment, said the scope his case was far greater than in Holder's, which involves an operation several levels below his direct knowledge. (Reached by phone, Gonzales said, "No, I'm not going to comment on it.")
"To me this seems much more political and much less substantive than anything that was involved in the concerns over the previous administration," said Bowman, a Democrat.
Nonetheless, Holder has become a more recognizable face not because of his laurels but instead because of Republicans' accusations. To resign because lawmakers from the opposing party ask for it would be remarkable. The other goal that the GOP achieves in its vilifying of Holder is that it gins up supporters in an election season.
"It is deeply undesirable to be having senior senators in one party calling for contempt citations and the like against a department head," Bowman said, "when it's perfectly clear to anybody who's not really partisan that all you have here is mismanagement of a law enforcement operation multiple levels below the attorney general's operational control."