Former AG Gonzales cited in document probe

Sept. 2, 2008 at 3:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general says former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled secret documents on anti-terrorist wiretapping.

Inspector General Glenn Fine, in a report issued Tuesday, said that when Gonzales moved from his position as White House counsel for U.S. President George Bush to take over as U.S. Attorney General in 2005, he failed to properly secure documents relating to the National Security Administration's controversial warrantless wiretapping program.

Fine said Gonzales brought the documents to the Justice Department on the day he was sworn in, and instead of putting them in a properly secured area, he kept them in a safe that was accessible by department employees and brought them home with him.

The inspector general also determined that Gonzales improperly stored 17 other secret documents, most related to the NSA program but some pertaining to interrogation techniques used on terrorism detainees.

Attorney George Terwilliger told the New York Times that Gonzales has admitted not properly securing the materials, but "categorically denies that he handled such materials with conscious disregard" for the proper procedures.

Charges, however, were unlikely, The Hill reported.

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