Former Gonzales Aide Appears Before Congress

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listens to testimony from Kyle Sampson. i i

hide captionSen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listens to testimony from Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listens to testimony from Kyle Sampson.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listens to testimony from Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The former chief of staff to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. Kyle Sampson gave evidence on why eight federal prosecutors were fired.

Responding to questions from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sampson rejected the notion that the dismissals were ordered by young or inexperienced Justice Department officials.

"The decision makers in this case were the attorney general and the counsel to the president," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sampson stepped down from his post in the midst of the furor over the firings.

Dahlia Lithwick, legal analyst for the online magazine Slate, talks with Madeleine Brand.

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