Now that the Washington Post has revealed that Alberto Gonzales perjured himself while testifying before a Senate committee in 2005 (piling on top of his other perjuries), I will now offer the Ultimate Prediction on what will happen.
Likely? No. But if it happens, you heard it here first:
1. The House of Representatives will impeach Gonzales.
2. The Senate, with the cooperation of Republicans looking to distance themselves from Mr. 26% Approval in the upcoming election, will remove him from office.
3. Bush will then give Gonzales a recess appointment as Acting Attorney General (which lasts until the end of the current Congress).
4. This recess appointment is illegal. Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution forbids anyone impeached and removed from “hold[ing] . . . any Office of Honor, trust, of Profit under the United States.” (Impeached federal judge Alcee Hastings can serve in Congress probably because a legislative representative is not an Officer. While it is true that being Bush’s AG hardly constitutes an Office of Honor, this probably carries little legal purchase).
5. The Roberts Court, in a 5-4 majority opinion written by Justice Kennedy, will rule that no one has standing to sue over the recess appointment.
I think that a lot of the creation of the Imperial Presidency will happen in this way. Bush will break the law, and the Supremes will stop anyone from challenging it. Expect the same with the subpoenas and executive privilege.