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Gonzales: Mistakes but no wrongdoing

Jan. 26, 2009 at 8:35 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Monday acknowledged he made mistakes in office but predicted investigations would exonerate him of wrongdoing.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Gonzales rejected the notion that the Justice Department dismissed nine U.S. attorneys for partisan political reasons. He acknowledged the firings could have been handled better, but seemed to blame the miscues on former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty -- who resigned after testifying at a Senate committee hearing that the firings were based on performance issues.

"No question, I should have been more engaged in that process," Gonzales said.

"If Paul McNulty makes a recommendation to me -- if a recommendation includes his views -- I would feel quite comfortable that those would be good recommendations coming to me," Gonzales said.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Monday subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove, to compel testimony about his role in the dismissal of the nine U.S. attorneys and the Justice Department's prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, The Hill reported.

Gonzales, who has given few interviews since he resigned as attorney general in September 2007, told NPR he has "seen no evidence" Rove or any other White House official tried to use federal prosecutors for political purposes.

He said he expects investigations to find no wrongdoing on his part.

"I take comfort in knowing I did the very best I could," Gonzales said.

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