Friday, March 23, 2007

Documents Show Gonzales Approved Firings

Mail Tribune :: Online Newspaper Edition - AP News Stories:

"Earlier Friday, a staunch White House ally, Sen. John Cornyn, summoned White House counsel Fred Fielding to Capitol Hill and told him he wanted 'no surprises.'

'I told him, 'Everything you can release, please release. We need to know what the facts are,'' Cornyn said."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals.

The Nov. 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Justice Department officials said late Friday.

There, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was crafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson.

On March 13, in explaining the firings, Gonzales told reporters he was aware that some of the dismissals were being discussed but was not involved in them.

"I knew my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers - where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district, and that's what I knew," Gonzales said last week. "But that is in essence what I knew about the process; was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That's basically what I knew as the attorney general."

Later, he added: "I accept responsibility for everything that happens here within this department. But when you have 110,000 people working in the department, obviously there are going to be decisions that I'm not aware of in real time. Many decisions are delegated."

read the whole article...

I'll link to these "documents" when I see them and we'll see if this is what it sounds like.

p.s. I got it before Josh. (ok, his time says 9:54, but it wasn't there when I started...I type slowly on the tablet....anyway, who cares)

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