In his piece today in the Washington Post, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales explains that he did nothing improper. Here’s part of what he wrote:
My decision some months ago to privately seek the resignations of a small number of U.S. attorneys has erupted into a public firestorm. First and foremost, I appreciate the public service of these fine lawyers and dedicated professionals, each of whom served his or her full four-year term as U.S. attorney. I apologize to them, their families and the thousands of dedicated professionals at the Justice Department for my role in allowing this matter to spin into an undignified Washington spectacle.
What began as a well-intentioned management effort to identify where, among the 93 U.S. attorneys, changes in leadership might benefit the department, and therefore the American people, has become an unintended public controversy.
While I accept responsibility for my role in commissioning this management review process, I want to make some fundamental points abundantly clear.
I know that I did not — and would not — ask for the resignation of any U.S. attorney for an improper reason. Furthermore, I have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process sought the removal of a U.S. attorney for an improper reason.
While I have never sought to deceive Congress or the American people, I also know that I created confusion with some of my recent statements about my role in this matter. To be clear: I directed my then-deputy chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, to initiate this process; fully knew that it was occurring; and approved the final recommendations. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his updates were brief, relatively few in number and focused primarily on the review process.
During those conversations, to my knowledge, I did not make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.
I am committed to explaining my role in this process and will do so Tuesday when I testify before Congress.
I am also committed to correcting any management missteps that occurred during this process. In recent weeks I have met with more than 70 U.S. attorneys around the country to hear their concerns and discuss ways to improve communication and coordination between their offices and the Justice Department.
These discussions have been frank, and good ideas are coming out, including ways to ensure that every U.S. attorney can know whether his or her performance is at the level expected by the president and the attorney general. Additionally, I have asked for recommendations on formal and informal steps that we can take to improve all forms of dialogue between the main Justice Department and U.S. attorneys nationwide.
Link via Lucianne.