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Democrats refuse to advance date of Gonzales testimony on US Attorney firings

[JURIST] US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] Sunday rejected attempts by the Bush administration to move up the date that US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] is scheduled to testify regarding his role in the firings of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive]. White House counselor Dan Bartlett [official profile] urged the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] to push up Gonzales' testimony from April 17 to next week, but committee chairman Leahy said Gonzales himself chose the mid-April date after declining earlier offered dates, so the schedule would not be changed now.

Meanwhile, comments made by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [official website] regarding Gonzales' inconsistent explanations of his involvement [JURIST report] in the firings did not resound with confidence in the attorney general. McConnell did not express his own backing of Gonzales, but said President Bush has confidence in Gonzales "at the moment." AP has more.

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