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Ex-AG Gonzales Shunned by Law Firms—and Apparently by Bush

Posted Aug 10, 2009 6:39 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, still under investigation for his role in the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, has been accused of being loyal to a fault to the man who appointed him, former President George W. Bush.

Now Gonzales isn’t hearing from Bush—or from law firms wanting to extend job offers. In a question-and-answer interview with the New York Times magazine, Gonzales says he has been tempted to pick up the phone to say hello to the former president. “I do, of course, think about our time together, and there are times when I think about doing that,” Gonzales told the Times. “But listen, I know that he has his life to live. I’ve got challenges and my life to live as well.”

Gonzales acknowledges in the interview that his reputation has taken a hit by his service as attorney general—but he doesn’t believe it is deserved. “It has had an effect, a negative effect, no question about it, and at times it makes me angry because it is undeserved. But I don’t want to sound like I am whining. At the end of the day, I’ve been the attorney general of the United States. It’s a remarkable privilege, and I stand behind my service.”

The privilege, however, has made it difficult for Gonzales to find a job with a law firm. “Listen, I’ve had some interest and I’ve had some discussions, but there has been no offer made,” he told the Times. “In a tough economic climate, I can understand why a company or a firm would want to make sure that the investigations are complete and there is no finding of wrongdoing before they make a hiring decision.”

Gonzales told the interviewer that his legal bills are “substantial” and “obviously it’s been a burden.” He has established a legal defense fund and he has a new job, teaching a political science course at Texas Tech University and helping the school recruit minorities. He also says he is writing a book that goes into some of the details about why he resigned as attorney general—but so far, he has not found a publisher.

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