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AG Apologizes Pre-Hearing, Asks for New Focus


U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has apologized and asked members of Congress to help the Justice Department focus on its crime-fighting mission, in a written statement submitted in anticipation of a scheduled House Judiciary Committee hearing tomorrow.

In the statement, he said he apologizes for “the process” by which eight U.S. attorneys were reviewed and told that they were being fired, reports the AP. Some say the firings were a political purge intended to promote prosecutorial policies favored by Republicans, but Gonzales insists in the statement that the eight were not dismissed for improper reasons.

Gonzales also called for members of the Democrat-controlled committee to move on and refocus on the Justice Department’s crime-fighting mission. “Recent events must not deter us from our mission,” he wrote. “I ask the committee to join me in that commitment and that rededication.”

Tomorrow’s hearing is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. EST.

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