Law Center - POSTED: 2007/04/15 20:50
In his 25-page statement, Gonzales apologized for embarrassing the eight U.S. attorneys and their families by letting their ousters erupt into a political firestorm that has engulfed the Justice Department since January. He maintained the firings were not improper, but said he remembers having only an indirect role in the plans beyond approving them.
"I have nothing to hide, and I am committed to assuring the Congress and the American public that nothing improper occurred here," Gonzales said in prepared testimony released before he appears Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The panel, which oversees the Justice Department, is investigating whether the firings were politically motivated.
"I am sorry for my missteps that have helped to fuel the controversy," he said.
Gonzales added: "In hindsight, I would have handled this differently. ... Looking back, it is clear to me that I should have done more personally to ensure that the review process was more rigorous, and that each U.S. attorney was informed of this decision in a more personal and respectful way."