July 23, 2007

Gonzales to repair its broken image

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says he's staying at the Justice Department to try to repair its broken image, telling Congress in a statement he's troubled that politics may have played a part in hiring career federal prosecutors. Senators already skeptical of Gonzales' ability to lead the department were preparing to hammer him about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys and conflicts between his earlier statements and the testimony of a former aide. The attorney general's comments were included in 26 pages of prepared testimony released on the eve of his scheduled appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing comes during an escalating executive-privilege standoff with the White House over the firings. Across the Capitol, the House Judiciary Committee was readying votes on contempt citations for White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers for disregarding subpoenas to testify and provide documents on the firings. The White House has said that any such materials are covered by executive privilege and that the president's current and former immediate advisers are immune from congressional subpoenas.

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