WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department officials began writing memos this month on why they fired U.S. attorneys last year, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The memos, labeled "for internal DOJ use only" show the department's efforts to point to performance problems with the eight federal prosecutors at the center of a showdown between the White House and Congress, the Times reported.
The memos feature charts with entries for each of the fired prosecutors and list shortcomings.
For former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton in Phoenix, the memo said, "Repeated instances of insubordination, actions taken contrary to instructions and actions that were clearly unauthorized.
Charlton told the Times, "My record speaks for itself, and I am proud of the positions I took."
Charlton upset Justice Department officials by resisting the death penalty in a case and requesting a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Times reported.
"In the 'you won't believe this category,' Paul Charlton would like a few minutes of the AG's time," Gonzales former Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson wrote in an e-mail to Michael Elston, an aide to Gonzales deputy Paul McNulty, the Times reported.
"Denied," was Elson's reply.