Attorney General Gonzales Refuses to Resign
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. So far, the committee chairman has sent him a list of questions, and the Justice Department today released the attorney general's opening statement. But the two documents - the questions and his prepared answer - barely overlap at all, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.
ARI SHAPIRO: The Justice Department has given Congress lots to chew on in the last few months. For example, at the attorney general's last hearing, Alberto Gonzales said:
ALBERTO GONZALES: I haven't talked to witnesses because of the fact that I haven't wanted to interfere with this investigation and department investigations.
SHAPIRO: That's investigations into U.S. attorney firings. A month after Gonzales said that, his former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, told the House panel about a conversation with the attorney general that she said made her feel uncomfortable.
MONICA GOODLING: And he had laid out for me his general recollection of some of the process regarding the replacement of the U.S. attorneys. And then he asked me if I had any reaction to his iteration.
SHAPIRO: Leahy says if the president wants to hang on to an attorney general who has lost so much credibility, that's his prerogative.
PATRICK LEAHY: The attorney general stays as long as the president feels that he represents the level of conpetence that the president wants to be remembered for in the history books. Right now, he set the bar pretty low.
SHAPIRO: Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Washington.
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