Statement of Senator Feinstein on Attorney General’s Failure to Respond to Question about the Firing U.S. Attorneys
Aug 14 2007
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has received a letter from the Department of Justice in response to her questioning of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during a July 24, 2007, Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.
At that hearing, Senator Feinstein asked Attorney General Gonzales about the total number of U.S. attorneys that he approved to be fired:
FEINSTEIN: We’re now up to nine that we know about. How many --
this is important -- how many U.S. attorneys did you approve to be
GONZALES: Senator, there may have been others. I would be happy
to get back to you with that kind of information about who has left.
But I don't know the answer to your question. But I can certainly
The Attorney General’s response was contained in an August 10, 2007, letter from Brian A. Benczkowski, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. A copy of that letter is attached to the press release.
The following are Senator Feinstein’s remarks on the Department of Justice’s letter:
“For months, I have been trying to ascertain the number of U.S. Attorneys who were targeted for firing.
We know that on December 7, 2006, calls were made to at least seven U.S. Attorneys who were asked to resign by a date certain in January 2007. We’ve also had two others brought to our attention.
I asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in a public hearing how many U.S. Attorneys he had approve to be fired.
And he responded: ‘Senator, there may have been others. I would be happy to get back to you with that kind of information about who has left. But I don't know the answer to your question. But I can certainly find out.’
The attached letter is that answer. It is wholly unsatisfactory.
The Judiciary Committee, in its oversight role, has the right to know.”
- doj response - (45.0 KBs)