Gonzales Testifies About U.S. Attorney Firings

April 19, 2007

It's being called a make or break day for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as he prepares to face stiff questioning from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The attorney general says he has nothing to hide, but he admitted
under oath, his explanation was less than precise about his role in the
firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

"I have always sought the truth in every aspect of my professional and personal life. This matter has been no exception. I never sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people," said Gonzales.

But that may not be enough for Senators on the Judiciary Committee who have poured over thousands of pages of documents, preparing to grill Gonzales today.

"People need to stop hiding the facts and tell the truth and the whole truth," said Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

"This is not a game of 'gotcha.' We want the facts, the hard facts, so we can make a decision," said Senator Arlen Spector, R-Pennsylvania.

Critics argue some of the prosecutors were fired to interfere with
investigations in ways that might have helped Republicans. Gonzales denies that, insisting they were let go because of poor performance.

"I firmly believe that nothing improper occurred. U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President."

President Bush has stood by his attorney general in the weeks since this scandal broke, but he stopped short of letting White House aides,
including Karl Rove, testify under oath about the role they played in the firings.

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