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Gonzales apologizes to prosecutors for mishandling US Attorney firings

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] apologized in a conference call with federal prosecutors Friday for mishandling the dismissal [JURIST report] of eight US Attorneys. Gonzales has been heavily criticized since he fired the attorneys in 2006 amid speculation the moves were politically motivated [JURIST report]. During the phone call, Gonzales regretted suggesting the firings were reflective of the prosecutors' job performance but was clear in his refusal to apologize for the firings themselves. Also on Friday, Kyle Sampson [profile], Gonzales' former Chief of Staff, released a statement that refuted his participation in misinforming Congress about the dismissals.

According to e-mails [PDF; set 2, PDF] revealed Tuesday, Sampson and former White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile;JURIST news archive] suggested firing [JURIST report] all 93 US Attorneys at the beginning of President Bush's second term. Top Bush adviser Karl Rove apparently initially mentioned the possibility [JURIST report] in a 2005 e-mail exchange. Sampson resigned [press release] from his position Monday. AP has more.

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