Gonzales pushed failed Kerik nomination

despite knowledge of his many ethical problems. According to the Washington Post, when Bernie Kerik was nominated by President Bush in late 2004 to be the Secretary of Homeland Security, the White House knew that he had a host of problems in his past. Yet Alberto Gonzales aggressively pushed his nomination forward:

Bush’s top lawyer, Alberto R. Gonzales, took charge of the vetting, repeatedly grilling Kerik about the issues that had been raised. … “The vetting process clearly broke down,” said a senior White House official. “This should not happen.” …

Gonzales, then the White House counsel, who was about to begin his own confirmation process for attorney general, took charge of questioning Kerik, grilling him for hours on several occasions, the sources said. At one point, Gonzales called while Kerik was having lunch at a New York steakhouse and talked to him on his cellphone for an hour and a half. Nanette Everson, then the White House ethics counsel, was kept on the sideline for the heavy-duty part of the vetting.