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US Justice Department investigating whether resigning attorney general misled Congress

US Justice Department investigating whether resigning attorney general misled Congress

The Justice Department said Thursday it is investigating whether resigning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied to or otherwise misled Congress last month in sworn testimony about the Bush administration's domestic spying program.
News of the inquiry, confirmed by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, comes three days after Gonzales abruptly announced he was resigning despite months of vowing he would remain on the job. His resignation is effective Sept. 17.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, who two weeks ago requested the inquiry, Fine said his investigators believe they "will be able to assess most of the issues that you raise in your letter."
Leahy also had asked Fine to look into whether Gonzales gave inaccurate testimony about the firings of several federal prosecutors last year.
"You identified five issues and asked that we investigate whether the statements made by the attorney general were intentionally false, misleading or inappropriate," Fine wrote in his four-paragraph response to Leahy in the letter dated Thursday.
"The OIG has ongoing investigations that relate to most of the subjects addressed by the attorney general's testimony that you identified," Fine told Leahy.
The resignation of Gonzales, a longtime friend and ally of President George W. Bush, was the latest of several high-ranking administration officials since voters in November's election gave opposition Democrats control of both chambers of Congress.
The first was Donald H. Rumsfeld, architect of the Iraq war, who resigned as defense secretary immediately after the election. Just last week, Karl Rove, another close Bush ally from Texas, announced his resignation as the president's top political adviser.


Updated : 2021-08-04 12:10 GMT+08:00