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Gonzales refuses to resign, promises to improve DOJ image

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] said Monday that he will stay at the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] to improve its damaged image. In prepared testimony [text] released Monday, Gonzales said that he feels "very strongly" that political considerations should not affect the hiring of US Attorneys and reiterated that the DOJ has an ongoing internal investigation of whether political factors affected US Attorney firings [JURIST report]. Gonzales did not address the apparent discrepancy [JURIST report] between his assertion that he did not speak with anyone involved in the US Attorneys firing scandal [JURIST news archive] and former DOJ aide Monica Goodling's May 23 testimony [JURIST report] that Gonzales "recounted to [Goodling] his recollections of the process leading up to and including" the firings during a meeting in March. Gonzales is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] took the unusual step of sending Gonzales a letter listing 12 written questions [PDF text; JURIST report] that Leahy hopes Gonzales will be prepared to answer during the Tuesday hearing. The committee is also expected to question Gonzales over allegations that he received reports that the FBI had broke privacy laws [JURIST report] prior to testifying before Congress that "there has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse" in 2005. AP has more.

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