Conyers: AG 'Breadcrumbs' Go to White House

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Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing elicited few clear answers from U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about the controversial firings last year of U.S. Attorneys, allegedly for political reasons, although the list has now been determined to include at least nine, rather than the original eight.

But unlike last month’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which ended with calls by several members for Gonzales to resign, today’s hearing ended with a declaration by Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., that the committee would press on with an investigation not only of Gonzales but of the White House.

“I am frankly disappointed that you are unable to answer the first and most basic question of who put these U.S. attorneys on the firing list and why,” Conyers told Gonzales at the end of the hearing, after thanking him for his participation. However, the committee will now “press forward with our investigation,” Conyers continued, adding that the investigation will focus not only on Gonzales and the Justice Department but the White House’s role.

Describing the AG’s testimony as ”breadcrumbs,” rather than the complete answers desired by the committee, Conyers said that those breadcrumbs nonetheless seem to be “leading to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” the address of the White House. The committee has five legislative days after the hearing to put into writing and presumably submit to Gonzales questions that were not answered there, Conyers noted.

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