U.S. attorneys

House committee moves to force Rove testimony in probe

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House political guru Karl Rove on Thursday to force his testimony about allegations that political meddling in the Justice Department led to selective prosecutions of southern Democrats. | 05/22/08 19:26:33 By - Greg Gordon

Senate panel slaps Domenici over phone call to U.S. attorney

The Senate Ethics Committee admonished Republican Sen. Pete Domenici on Thursday for creating an "appearance of impropriety" after he called the U.S. attorney he helped install to inquire about the timing of a federal corruption case. | 04/24/08 20:14:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Justice Dept. watchdog traded basketball for investigating

As the Justice Department's internal watchdog, Inspector General Glenn Fine has overseen some of the most politically sensitive investigations of the Bush administration's terrorism tactics and of the FBI. Since Fine took office in 2000, he's served Presidents Clinton and Bush and outlasted Attorneys General Janet Reno, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales. | 04/14/08 17:01:00 By -

House Democrats sue to force Bush aides to testify on firings

The House Judiciary Committee acted after Bush's chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers refused to provide information about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. | 03/10/08 17:08:00 By - Marisa Taylor

McClatchy cited for exposing U.S. attorney scandal

WASHINGTON — The Scripps Howard Foundation cited McClatchy journalists for excellence on Friday for outstanding Washington reporting, feature writing and commentary. | 03/07/08 11:09:00 By -

Fired U.S. attorney says colleague told him politics was behind his ouster

A longtime protege of President Bush told former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias that he was fired for political reasons and that he shouldn't fight his ouster, Iglesias says in a new book. | 03/06/08 19:01:00 By - Marisa Taylor

House stiffs Bush on spy law, finds 2 aides in contempt

WASHINGTON — In two political showdowns Thursday, Democrats in the House of Representatives refused to bow to presidential pressure to pass a broad surveillance law and voted to hold two Bush aides in contempt of Congress. | 02/14/08 19:37:00 By - Renee Schoof and Marisa Taylor

New e-mails contradict testimony by former Gonzales aide

Contrary to his testimony before Congress last month, the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recommended candidates to replace ousted U.S. attorneys, according to an e-mail released Friday by the Justice Department. Kyle Sampson, then chief of staff to Gonzales, listed the names of possible replacements in a January 2006 e-mail he sent to then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers. | 01/14/08 15:32:41 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Justice's voting chief steps down amid controversy

The Justice Department's voting rights chief stepped down Friday amid allegations that he'd used the position to aid a Republican strategy to suppress African-American votes. John Tanner became the latest of about a dozen senior department officials who've resigned in recent months. | 12/14/07 12:52:43 By - Greg Gordon

Mukasey calls waterboarding repugnant but declines to say it's illegal

Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, a retired federal judge, said he could not speculate on the legality of waterboarding because he had not been briefed on any classified practices. However, he pledged to scrutinize the current interrogation techniques. | 10/30/07 19:27:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Voting-rights chief faces congressional questioning

The Justice Department's embattled voting-rights chief took responsibility Tuesday for approving a controversial Georgia law that required voters to produce photo IDs, contending that data showed the law wouldn't make it harder for blacks to vote. | 10/30/07 18:36:33 By - Greg Gordon

Bush's pick for attorney general garners widespread support

President Bush's nomination Monday of former federal judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general won praise from unlikely quarters and possibly averted a contentious Senate confirmation battle. | 09/17/07 18:54:00 By - Marisa Taylor

50 years later, lamenting state of Civil Rights Division

Several former civil rights lawyers expressed fears that the Bush administration has tainted the division's legacy by rolling back voting rights enforcement, bringing few employment discrimination lawsuits on behalf of African-Americans and diverting appellate lawyers to immigration cases. | 09/04/07 16:51:00 By - Greg Gordon

Experts: Fixing Justice should be on Bush's agenda

Whoever replaces Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will face a daunting challenge. Charges of cronyism and partisan politicking have sunk the Justice Department's reputation to levels not seen since Watergate and damaged the Bush administration's ability to fight crime, pursue the war on terrorism and achieve its other goals. | 08/31/07 16:28:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Bush's herd of loyal Texas advisers continues to thin

They were fiercely loyal, unfailingly disciplined and, as a unit, offered the president a comforting touchstone from his home state. Now, Team Texas is moving ever closer to extinction. The already thinning cadre of advisers who followed George W. Bush from Austin to Washington is unraveling even further, with Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove heading toward the door. | 08/27/07 18:49:00 By - Dave Montgomery

Comments about Gonzales' resignation

Comments Monday on the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: | 08/27/07 14:31:00 By - McClatchy Newspapers

From start to finish, Gonzales was Bush's man

Alberto Gonzales rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of power, ever loyal to the man who brought him there: George W. Bush. Following Bush from the Texas governorís office to the White House, and ultimately becoming the nationís first Hispanic attorney general, Gonzales has long been one of the presidentís most trusted advisers. | 08/27/07 19:09:00 By - Greg Gordon and Dave Montgomery

11 have resigned amid controversy since March

The following individuals have resigned from the Bush administration amid the furor following last year's firings of nine U.S. attorneys and the perceived politicization of the Justice Department. | 08/27/07 19:14:00 By - McClatchy Newspapers

After long controversy, Attorney General Gonzales resigns

With the resignation Monday of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Bush administration faces its most daunting task: repairing the reputation of a Justice Department reeling from the controversy over the firings of nine U.S. attorneys last year. After months of damaging disclosures about his competency and congressional scrutiny of his leadership, Gonzales announced that he'd be leaving Sept. 17 but offered little explanation for the timing. | 08/27/07 10:02:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Justice Department lawyer accused of partisanship resigns

Former acting civil rights chief and U.S. attorney Bradley Schlozman, who was a central figure in the controversy over alleged partisan decision-making in the Bush Justice Department, has resigned, a department spokesman said Wednesday. | 08/22/07 17:37:00 By - Greg Gordon

Bush invokes executive privilege for Rove in attorney firings

Ratcheting up the stakes in a legal battle with Congress, President Bush ordered White House adviser Karl Rove and a senior political aide to refuse on grounds of executive privilege to testify before the Senate on the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. | 08/01/07 21:38:00 By - Greg Gordon

Democrats vs. President Bush: To the courts or not, and how?

With each passing day, the dispute over whether President Bush can claim executive privilege to shield his aides from a congressional investigation into last year's firing of nine U.S. attorneys creeps closer to court. | 07/29/07 06:02:39 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Democrats subpoena Rove, seek perjury investigation of Gonzales

Senate Democrats escalated their investigations of the Justice Department on Thursday, subpoenaing President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and seeking the appointment of a special counsel to consider whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has committed perjury. | 07/26/07 17:38:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Justice Dept. drops massive fraud case

Two years into a fraud investigation, veteran federal prosecutor David Maguire told colleagues he'd uncovered one of the biggest cases of his career. Maguire described crimes "far worse" than those of Arthur Andersen, the accounting giant that collapsed in the wake of the Enron scandal. But Maguire never brought charges. | 07/25/07 10:40:36 By - Marisa Taylor

House panel votes for contempt citations against Bush aides

The House Judiciary Committee voted to begin criminal contempt proceedings against two White House advisers who refused to comply with subpoenas in Congress' investigation into the firing last year of nine U.S. attorneys. | 07/25/07 13:26:00 By - Margaret Talev

GOP senator threatens legal action against White House

A powerful Republican senator said Tuesday that if the Bush administration wouldn't appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, Congress should consider starting contempt proceedings on its own against the White House. | 07/24/07 18:10:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

House judiciary chairman seeks contempt charges against Bush aides

Despite all signs that the Bush administration will block him, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee will pursue criminal contempt charges against White House officials for refusing to comply with subpoenas in an investigation into last year's firings of nine U.S. attorneys. | 07/23/07 17:39:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Ex-Justice Department lawyer changes his testimony

A former senior Justice Department official has backed off sworn Senate testimony that he consulted with senior agency voting-rights lawyers before inaccurately advising Arizona officials they could deny thousands of voters their rights to provisional ballots. | 07/19/07 18:56:00 By - Greg Gordon

Bush halts Miers' testimony, provoking threat from Congress

President Bush ordered former White House Counsel Harriet Miers to stay away Thursday from a House panel investigating last year's firings of nine U.S. attorneys, prompting the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to threaten Miers with a contempt citation. | 07/11/07 19:33:00 By - Margaret Talev

Was campaigning against voter fraud a Republican ploy?

A New Mexico lawyer who pressed to oust U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was an officer of a nonprofit group that aided Republican candidates in 2006 by pushing for tougher voter identification laws. | 07/01/07 06:00:36 By - Greg Gordon

Ex-Justice official accused of aiding scheme to scratch minority voters

Former Justice Department civil rights officials and election watchdog groups charge that a former Justice Department official's letter to a federal judge in Ohio sided with Republicans engaging in an illegal, racially motivated tactic known as "vote-caging" in a state that would be pivotal in delivering President Bush a second term in the White House. | 06/24/07 16:08:30 By - Greg Gordon

Justice official accused of blocking suits into alleged violations

A former Justice Department political appointee blocked career lawyers from filing at least three lawsuits charging local and county governments with violating the voting rights of African-Americans and other minorities, seven former senior department employees charged. | 06/18/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

Key dates in the U. S. Attorneys scandal

Key dates in the relationship between the White House and the Department of Justice: 2001

Beginning Jan. 20, 2001 - In keeping with tradition, the new Bush administration appoints John Ashcroft as attorney general and begins nominating U.S attorneys to replace the Clinton administrationís top prosecutors. | 06/18/07 10:25:45 By -

Politics weakens Justice Dept. independence

The investigations into the Bush administration's decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys have exposed how the administration has eroded the firewall between partisan politics and the Justice Department and compromised the independence of the nation's top law enforcement agency. | 06/18/07 11:01:10 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

A Q&A for the U.S. Attorneys saga

McClatchy reporters Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev have been following the U.S. attorneys saga since early this year, and they've repeatedly been the first to report key developments in the case. Here they answer questions submitted by McClatchy readers. | 06/18/07 02:16:57 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Another Justice Department official quits in controversy over ousted U.S. attorneys

A senior Justice Department official immersed in the furor over the firings of nine U.S. attorneys is resigning to join a private law firm, a department official said Friday. | 06/15/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

White House subpoenas ratchet up confrontation with Congress over U.S. attorney firings

After months of threats, Congress on Wednesday issued its first White House subpoenas in the investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, seeking testimony from two former aides as well as a broad range of internal documents. | 06/13/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Lawyer can't recall his role in controversial policies

Another former Justice Department lawyer went before Congress with few answers for his Democratic interrogators and a spotty memory. | 06/13/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

White House rebuked Justice for disclosing firing motive

A former political director was furious at Justice Department officials for disclosing to Congress that the administration had forced out the U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Ark., to make way for a protege of Karl Rove. | 06/12/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Majority of senators sought "no confidence" vote on Gonzales

A majority of the Senate voted Monday to register "no confidence" in embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a rare rebuke for a Cabinet official. The 53-38 tally came on a procedural vote that fell seven votes short of the 60 needed under Senate rules to close debate and move to the formal vote of "no confidence," but the majority in favor of doing so left no doubt where most senators stood. | 06/11/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Senator charges improper political interference in Justice Department

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy angrily threatened Tuesday to issue subpoenas if the White House continues to stonewall his panels investigation into fired U.S. attorneys, and he said he was deeply troubled by what he called White House efforts to manipulate the (Justice) Department into its own political arm. Leahy, D-Vt., charged that every week seems to bring new revelations about the erosion of independence at the Justice Department. This administration was willing, in the U.S. attorney firings and in the vetting of career hires for political allegiance, to sacrifice the independence of law enforcement and the rule of law for loyalty to the White House. | 06/07/07 11:30:32 By - Greg Gordon

Justice Department investigators broaden their inquiry

The Justice Department is expanding its internal inquiry to look into new allegations that senior department officials improperly filled career jobs based on applicants Republican or conservative credentials. In a joint announcement Wednesday, officials at the departments Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility said their inquiry now included scrutiny of hiring in the Civil Rights Division, which oversees voting rights. | 06/07/07 11:37:08 By - Margaret Talev and Greg Gordon

Justice Department actions expected to draw congressional scrutiny

Saying it was out to combat widespread voter fraud, the Justice Department in recent years has stepped up enforcement of election laws to ease the purging of ineligible voters from state registration rolls. | 06/07/07 11:37:08 By - Greg Gordon

Ousted U.S. attorneys describe lawmakers' intrusions

Six former U.S. attorneys told two congressional committees Tuesday that Republican lawmakers and a congressional aide inquired about politically sensitive investigations, and their testimony raised new questions about whether the Bush administration removed the attorneys for political rather than professional reasons. | 06/01/07 16:23:38 By - By Marisa Taylor, Margaret Talev and Les Blumenthal

After firing U.S. attorneys, administration has trouble finding candidates to fill vacancies

The Bush administration's decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys last year has created a new problem for the White House: The controversy appears to be discouraging applications for some of the 22 prosecutor posts that President Bush needs to fill. | 05/25/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Fewer candidates apply for positions as U.S. attorneys

The Bush administrations decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys last year has created a new problem for the White House: The controversy appears to be discouraging applications for some of the 22 prosecutor posts that President Bush needs to fill. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the administration is committed to nominating candidates for all 22 open positions, but so far the administration has submitted only four nominees. | 05/25/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Aide testifies that Gonzales discussed firings of U.S. attorneys

A former senior aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told lawmakers Wednesday that Gonzales had sought to go over with her his recollections about the firings of U.S. attorneys after a congressional investigation was under way. | 05/23/07 12:06:01 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Aide testifies that Gonzales discussed firings of U.S. attorneys

A former senior aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told lawmakers Wednesday that Gonzales had sought to go over with her his recollections about the firings of U.S. attorneys after a congressional investigation was under way. Monica Goodling, the Justice Departments former senior counsel and liaison to the White House, told the House Judiciary Committee that the one-on-one conversation in Gonzales office in mid-March made her uncomfortable and that she thought it might be inappropriate for them to compare notes when both might be asked to testify. | 05/23/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Senators accuse Gonzales of `stonewalling' about wiretap program

The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee accused Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday of consistent stonewalling and misdirection about the administrations warrantless wiretapping program and set a June 5 deadline for him to turn over long-sought documents about it. Until they get those documents discussing the legal justifications for the program, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., told Gonzales in a scathing letter, theyre prepared to block legislation that the White House says is needed to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which authorizes the program. | 05/22/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Efforts to stop `voter fraud' may have curbed legitimate voting

During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article. | 05/20/07 12:22:48 By - Greg Gordon

Senate prepares for a no-confidence vote on Gonzales

The Senate moved Thursday to schedule a no-confidence vote on embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as new details surfaced suggesting that at least 30 federal prosecutors were targeted for firing, nearly one-third of the nations 93 U.S. attorneys. The impending censure vote is aimed at pressuring Gonzales to resign and forcing the Bush administration to further explain the motives behind its strategy to replace U.S. attorneys. | 05/17/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

2 additional prosecutors were considered for ouster

The Justice Department last year considered firing two U.S. attorneys in Florida and Colorado, states where allegations of voter fraud and countercharges of voter intimidation have flown in recent years, congressional investigators have learned. That brings to nine the number of battleground election states where the Bush administration set out to replace some of the nations top prosecutors. In at least seven states, it now appears, U.S. attorneys were fired or considered for firing as Republicans in those states urged investigations or prosecutions of alleged Democratic voter fraud. | 05/16/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Justice Dept. produces little new evidence linking Rove to firings of U.S. attorneys

Justice Department officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that theyd searched high and low for all the e-mails to, from or copied to White House political adviser Karl Rove about the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys. Responding (a day late) to a subpoena from the committee, they reported that Justice Department officials searched the e-mail accounts of 16 people, between Nov. 1, 2004, and May 2, 2007. They found exactly two: something old and something new. | 05/16/07 03:00:00 By - Matt Stearns

Deputy attorney general resigns

The No. 2 Justice Department official who came under fire for his testimony to Congress about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys announced his resignation on Monday. Paul J. McNulty, the deputy attorney general since March 2006, said in his resignation letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that he would step down on a date to be determined in late summer. | 05/14/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

White House sought investigations of voter fraud allegations before elections

Only weeks before last years pivotal midterm elections, the White House urged the Justice Department to pursue voter-fraud allegations against Democrats in three battleground states, a high-ranking Justice official has told congressional investigators. In two instances in October 2006, President Bushs political adviser, Karl Rove, or his deputies passed the allegations on to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. | 05/10/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Senate panel wants to question Justice Department official

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday asked a former acting Justice Department civil rights chief to answer accusations that he was a central figure in a broad Republican strategy to suppress the votes of Democratic-leaning minorities. The committee, which has been investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, asked Bradley Schlozman to appear voluntarily and describe his activities as a senior civil rights official and later as a U.S. attorney for Kansas City, Mo. Schlozman was a U.S. attorney there for one year. | 05/07/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon and David Goldstein

Congress considers broadening Justice Department inquiry

Congressional investigators are beginning to focus on accusations that a top civil rights official at the Justice Department illegally hired lawyers based on their political affiliations, especially for sensitive voting rights jobs. | 05/06/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon and Margaret Talev

Former deputy attorney general official defends fired U.S. attorneys

A former senior Justice Department official Thursday defended seven of the eight U.S. attorneys the Bush administration fired, saying he had concerns about the performance of only one of them and wouldnt have recommended that the others be removed. Former deputy attorney general James Comey told a House Judiciary subcommittee that although it was his responsibility as the departments second-in-command to supervise the nations top prosecutors, he was never told that the department and the White House had targeted some prosecutors for replacement. | 05/03/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

2006 Missouri's election was ground zero for GOP

Accusations about voter fraud seemed to fly from every direction in Missouri before last falls elections. State and national Republicans leaders fretted that dead people might vote or that some live people might vote more than once. Now, six months after freshman Missouri Sen. Jim Talents defeat handed Democrats control of the U.S. Senate, disclosures in the wake of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys show that that Republican campaign to protect the balloting was not as it appeared. No significant voter fraud was ever proved. | 05/02/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

Senate panel subpoenas Justice Department for Rove e-mails

Lawmakers investigating last years firings of eight U.S. attorneys took aim at the White House on Wednesday, subpoenaing the Justice Department for all related e-mails of President Bushs political adviser Karl Rove. The development is one of several that could increase pressure on the Bush administration to explain how involved White House officials were in the unusual order to fire several of the presidents top prosecutors and why. | 05/02/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys last year before paring its list to eight

ongressional sources who have seen unedited internal documents say the Bush administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys before paring down its list to eight late last year. The four who escaped dismissal came from states considered political battlegrounds in the last presidential election: Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. | 04/27/07 06:31:37 By - Margaret Talev, Ron Hutcheson and Marisa Taylor

Administration considered firing additional U.S. attorneys

Senior congressional aides who have seen unedited internal documents say the Bush administration considered firing at least a dozen U.S. attorneys before paring settling on eight late last year. The four who escaped dismissal came from states that the White House considered political battlegrounds in the last presidential election: Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Two of the four said they resigned voluntarily before eight U.S. attorneys were fired on Dec. 7. Two continue to serve as federal prosecutors. | 04/27/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Bush administration targeted another top federal prosecutor

The Bush administration considered firing the former U.S. attorney in Minnesota, but he left his job voluntarily before the list of attorneys to be ousted was completed, two congressional aides said Thursday. Congressional investigators probing the firings of eight U.S. attorneys saw Thomas Heffelfingers name on a version of the list that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, began assembling in early 2005. Heffelfinger left in February 2006, more than nine months before the Justice Department agreed on a final list of prosecutors to remove. | 04/26/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Gonzales asked to answer more questions before Congress

Frustrated with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales incomplete explanation of the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, members of two congressional committees demanded that Gonzales submit to more questions about his handling of the ousters. The development came as a House of Representatives committee voted Wednesday to grant immunity to a former top aide to Gonzales to compel her testimony. | 04/25/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

DOJ: Statement on the hearing

STATEMENT OF TASIA SCOLINOS, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, IN RESPONSE TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S HEARING TODAY ON THE U.S. ATTORNEY RESIGNATION MATTER | 04/19/07 14:59:56 By - McClatchy Newspapers

Gonzales says attorneys were fired for disparate reasons

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Friday stood by the decision to fire eight U.S. attorneys, even though Justice Department documents and congressional testimony raised questions about whether he had legitimate reasons to fire them. Here are Gonzales latest explanations for the firings and the criticism raised by Congress and several of the prosecutors. | 04/19/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Administration pursued aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout

For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.| 04/18/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

White House seeks to review GOP e-mails

President Bushs lawyers told the Republican National Committee on Tuesday not to turn over to Congress any e-mails related to the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys before showing them to the White House. Democrats and Republican critics of the administration said the move suggests that the White House is seeking to develop a strategy to block the release of the non-government e-mails to congressional investigators by arguing that theyre covered by executive privilege and not subject to review. | 04/17/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Bush, Gonzales reportedly discussed fired prosecutor

New details emerging from Justice Department interviews and e-mails suggest that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and perhaps President Bush were more active than theyve acknowledged in the firings last year of eight U.S. attorneys, lawmakers said Monday. Gonzales will be under pressure to explain those contradictions when he testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in the firings. The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, but lawmakers delayed it after a shooting spree Monday at Virginia Tech left at least 33 people dead, including the gunman. | 04/16/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Gonzales says he has `nothing to hide'

Declaring he has nothing to hide, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Sunday said he never sought the resignation of any U.S. attorney to influence a prosecution for political ends, but acknowledged that he and other officials made mistakes in how the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys were handled. Gonzales, fighting to save his job as the nations top law enforcement official, made his defense in prepared remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he will appear on Tuesday. | 04/15/07 03:00:00 By - Renee Schoof

U.S. attorney asserts politics had no place in his decisions

The U.S. attorney in Milwaukee said Saturday that political self-preservation was never a factor in his decision to prosecute a Democratic state official for corruption before last years election, and that he was never pressured by the Bush administration or the presidents political aides to pursue the case. Steven M. Biskupics remarks came in response to a report by McClatchy Newspapers that congressional investigators saw his name on a Justice Department list targeting certain U.S. attorneys for removal because of perceptions they had performed poorly or were disloyal to the administration. | 04/14/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

E-mails contradict testimony in U.S. attorneys scandal

A U.S. attorney in Wisconsin who prosecuted a state Democratic official on corruption charges during last years heated governors race was once targeted for firing by the Department of Justice, but given a reprieve for reasons that remain unclear. A federal appeals court last week threw out the conviction of Wisconsin state worker Georgia Thompson, saying the evidence was beyond thin. It wasnt clear when Biskupic was added to a Justice Department hit list of prosecutors, or when he was taken off, or whether those developments were connected to the just-overturned corruption case. | 04/13/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Deleting embarrassing e-mails isn't easy, experts say

If Karl Rove or other White House staffers tried to delete sensitive e-mails from their computers, experts said, investigators Deleting a document or e-mail doesnt remove the file from a computers hard drive or a backup server. The only thing thats erased is the address known as a pointer indicating where the file is stored. Its like removing an index card in a library, said Robert Guinaugh, a senior partner at CyberControls LLC, a data forensic-support company in Barrington, Ill. You take the card out, but the book is still on the shelf. | 04/13/07 03:00:00 By - Robert S. Boyd

Key Democrat accuses officials of lying about e-mails

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the Bush administration Thursday of trying to bury potentially damaging Republican Party e-mails about eight fired U.S. attorneys and compared the situation to Watergate. They say they have not been preserved. I dont believe that! said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., of e-mails that the White House had said a day earlier might be lost. You cant erase e-mails, not today. Theyve gone through too many servers. Those e-mails are there, they just dont want to produce them. Its like the infamous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes. | 04/12/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Government lawyers volunteer their services to GOP organization

In his day job, Christian Adams writes legal briefs for the voting rights section of the Justice Department, a job that requires a nonpartisan approach. Off the clock, Adams belongs to the Republican National Lawyers Association, a group that trains hundreds of Republican lawyers to monitor elections and pushes for confirmation of conservative nominees for federal judgeships. According to the groups Web site, Adams is one of dozens of Bush administration appointees or civil servants who are members, including at least 25 in the Justice Department, nine in the Department of Defense and others in the Labor and Commerce departments, the White House and the Office of Special Counsel, which oversees investigations into allegations of ethical misconduct by government employees. | 04/11/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Top Gonzales aide resigns after refusing to testify

A top deputy to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned abruptly Friday, two weeks after she said shed invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than testify to congressional investigators who are probing the Bush administrations firing and hiring of eight federal prosecutors. Monica Goodling was the senior counsel to Gonzales and the liaison between the Justice Department and the White House, which puts her in a position to answer questions about whether top administration officials hired and fired some federal prosecutors for partisan political reasons. | 04/06/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

U.S. attorney scandal gives Democrats a chance to investigate Rove

Allegations that politics improperly influenced the Bush administrations decision to fire eight U.S. attorneys last year are providing the new Democratic majority in Congress with a long-sought opening to investigate the maneuverings of White House political strategist Karl Rove. Democrats have long seen Rove the guru of President Bush and Republican Party successes as having too heavy a hand in the operations of federal agencies in ways that unduly injected politics into policy. But as the minority party for the last six years of the Bush presidency, the Democrats lacked the power to investigate him. | 03/30/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Greg Gordon

Aide implicates Gonzales in firings of U.S. attorneys

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales came under more pressure Thursday to explain his role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, after his former top aide said the attorney general was far more involved in the ousters than he has acknowledged. In seven, often tense, hours of testimony, former chief of staff Kyle Sampson told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Gonzales was aware of the plan from the outset, was briefed at least five times over the past two years and attended a meeting where Justice Department officials discussed removing the prosecutors. I dont think the attorney generals statement that he was not involved in any discussions about U.S. attorney removals is accurate, Sampson said. | 03/29/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Justice Dept. apologizes for inaccuracies in early letter to Democrats

The Justice Department on Wednesday apologized to Congress for inaccuracies in a February letter that suggested that White House political adviser Karl Rove wasnt involved in the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys. We sincerely regret any inaccuracy, said the letter from acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Hertling to Senate Democrats. It topped a 202-page release of new documents that was turned over for a congressional inquiry into the firings of eight top federal prosecutors last year. | 03/28/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Gonzales aide faces Senate investigators

The Justice Department cannot document the reasons behind the firings of eight U.S. attorneys because the dismissals resulted from subjective judgments, not clear-cut performance problems, a former senior Justice Department official will tell Congress on Thursday. Testimony prepared for Kyle Sampson, the official at the center of the firings, suggests that Justice Department officials considered a host of amorphous factors in deciding which U.S. attorneys would be forced out. McClatchy Newspapers obtained a copy of Sampsons testimony in advance of his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. | 03/28/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Ron Hutcheson

Gonzales aide to invoke the Fifth in testimony

A key aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than answer lawmakers questions about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, her lawyer said Monday. The decision by Monica Goodling to protect herself against self-incrimination marks the first instance in which a Bush administration appointee involved in the probe has signaled concerns about possible criminal repercussions. | 03/26/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

Attorney General Gonzales faces showdown with Senate

Three Republican senators expressed skepticism Sunday about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales credibility, setting up what one of them called a make or break moment for him when he testifies before Congress about his role in firing eight U.S. Attorneys. The attorney general has a lot of explaining to do, said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Attorney General Gonzales testimony will be a make or break situation for him. | 03/25/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Bush remains steadfast in his support for Gonzales

President Bush reaffirmed his support for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Saturday amid growing pressure for Gonzales resignation. The attorney general faces a difficult week after internal Justice Department e-mails released late Friday indicated that he was more involved than he has acknowledged in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year. | 03/24/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson and Margaret Talev

New U.S. attorneys seem to have partisan records

Under President Bush, the Justice Department has backed laws that narrow minority voting rights and pressed U.S. attorneys to investigate voter fraud policies that critics say have been intended to suppress Democratic votes. | 03/23/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

Documents highlight Gonzales' role in the firings of U.S. attorneys

Internal Bush administration e-mails suggest that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may have played a bigger role than he has acknowledged in the plan to fire several U.S. attorneys. The e-mails, delivered to Congress Friday night, show that Gonzales attended an hourlong meeting on the firings on Nov. 27, 2006 10 days before seven U.S. attorneys were told to resign. The attorney generals participation in the session calls into question his assertion that he was essentially in the dark about the firings. | 03/23/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson, Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

House panel authorizes subpoenas in the U.S. attorneys controversy

A House subcommittee authorized subpoenas for top White House aides Wednesday amid new questions about President Bush's involvement in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. | 03/21/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson and Mark Seibel

Bush fights back on behalf of his embattled attorney general

President Bush fought back Tuesday in the controversy over eight fired federal prosecutors, defending Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, refusing to let his aides testify publicly and demanding that Democrats drop the partisanship. | 03/20/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson and Margaret Talev

U.S. attorney's firing may be connected to CIA corruption probe

Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday. | 03/18/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Senator predicts Gonzales will be forced out within a week

A top Democrat predicted Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would be forced from his job within a week for the Justice Department's mishandling of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. | 03/18/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev

A look at what's behind the U.S. attorney flap

Suspicions about political influence in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year focus on a handful of cases. Heres a look at the dismissals that are drawing the most attention. | 03/16/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson

Gonzales apologizes to prosecutors

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales apologized to the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys in a conference call Friday as he tried to hold on to his job amid the scandal over the firings of eight federal prosecutors. | 03/16/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Bedrock principle is at the center of U.S. attorneys controversy

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft had a standard spiel for new U.S. attorneys: You have to leave politics at the door to do this job properly. Maintaining that independence, without fear of repercussions, is the bedrock principle at stake in the controversy over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. | 03/16/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson and Marisa Taylor

Department of Justice release on the U.S. Attorneys scandal

"The Attorney General has no recollection of any plan or discussion to replace U.S. Attorneys while he was still White House Counsel. ..." | 03/15/07 18:17:02 By - McClatchy Newspapers

Gonzales fights to keep his job

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has said that he doesn't remember talking to an aide in early 2005 about plans for a mass firing of U.S. attorneys, but its not just his memory that's in question now. | 03/15/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson

In Mexico, Bush 'not happy' about U.S. attorneys' controversy

President Bush publicly chastised Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday, declaring he was "not happy" about the controversy surrounding the unceremonious firings of eight U.S. attorneys. | 03/14/07 18:25:30 By - Kevin G. Hall

Bush defends the firing of U.S. attorneys

President Bush denied Wednesday that partisan politics played a role in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, and he characterized the controversy over the dismissals as a big misunderstanding. | 03/14/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson

Current situation is distinct from Clinton firings of U.S. attorneys

The Bush administration and its defenders like to point out that President Bush isn't the first president to fire U.S. attorneys and replace them with loyalists. While that's true, the current case is different. | 03/13/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson

White House says Rove relayed complaints about prosecutors

The White House acknowledged on Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove served as a conduit for complaints to the Justice Department about federal prosecutors who were later fired for what critics charge were partisan political reasons. | 03/11/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson, Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

Rove was asked to fire U.S. attorney

Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state's U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction in part with his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state. | 03/10/07 16:19:15 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

FBI abused its powers, the inspector general finds

FBI Director Robert Mueller took responsibility Friday for a watchdog's findings that the bureau had abused its expanded, post-Sept. 11 powers to secretly obtain Americans' bank, phone, credit and e-mail records in counterterrorism investigations. | 03/09/07 03:00:00 By - Greg Gordon

Firing of U.S. attorneys may be 'enormously problematic' for Republicans

The growing controversy over the Bush administration's abrupt dismissal of eight federal prosecutors raises a disturbing question: Has the Bush administration tried to use the federal government's vast law enforcement powers against its political enemies? | 03/09/07 03:00:00 By - Ron Hutcheson

Gonzales agrees to change in law on appointment of U.S. attorneys

The Bush administration agreed Thursday not to oppose legislation that would eliminate the attorney general's power to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation. | 03/08/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev

More officials likely to be subpoenaed in U.S. attorneys investigation

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to subpoena at least five high-ranking Department of Justice officials to testify about the mass firings of U.S. attorneys. Among those who could be compelled to testify is Michael Elston, the official who's accused of trying to intimidate the ousted prosecutors to silence them. | 03/07/07 03:00:00 By - Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor

Prosecutor worried 'gloves would come off' over criticism of ouster

A high-ranking Justice Department official told one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration that if any of them continued to criticize the administration for their ousters, previously undisclosed details about the reasons they were fired might be released, two of the ousted prosecutors told McClatchy Newspapers. | 03/05/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Senator apologizes for calling U.S. attorney about federal probe

Republican Sen. Pete Domenici apologized Sunday for calling the U.S. attorney he helped install in New Mexico to inquire about the timing of an ongoing federal corruption case involving at least one Democrat. | 03/04/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

GOP lawmakers tried to influence federal investigation, sources say

Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico pressured the U.S. attorney in their state to speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator, according to two people familiar with the contacts. | 03/01/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Political interference is alleged in the sacking of a U.S. attorney

Congressional leaders said Wednesday that they'd seek testimony from several U.S. attorneys who were summarily fired by the Bush administration, hours after the top federal prosecutor in New Mexico alleged that he was fired because of political interference. | 02/28/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Political interference alleged in sacking of a U.S. attorney

The U.S. attorney from New Mexico who was recently fired by the Bush administration said Wednesday that he believes he was forced out because he refused to rush an indictment in an ongoing probe of local Democrats a month before November's Congressional elections. | 02/28/07 11:39:19 By - Marisa Taylor

Appointee for U.S. attorney vacancy won't seek a permanent post

A former aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove who replaced one of the recently ousted U.S. attorneys has decided not to seek the job permanently after concluding that the Senate would block his confirmation. | 02/16/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Ousted U.S. attorneys received positive job evaluations

Although the Bush administration has said that six U.S. attorneys were fired recently in part because of performance related issues, at least five of them received positive job evaluations before they were ordered to step down. | 02/12/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Official denies prosecutors were ousted for political reasons

The No. 2 Justice Department official acknowledged Tuesday that at least seven U.S. attorneys were asked to resign, but he denied that the administration ousted them for political reasons. | 02/06/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

New U.S. attorneys come from Bush's inner circle

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is transforming the ranks of the nation's top federal prosecutors by firing some and appointing conservative loyalists from the Bush administration's inner circle who critics say are unlikely to buck Washington. | 01/26/07 03:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Greg Gordon

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