Monday, Apr 16, 2007, 12:29 pm
Gonzales vs Gonzales
Jan Crawford Greenburg and Ariane de Vogue for ABC News report:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.
That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.
Gonzales was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, but his testimony was postponed until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University.
The e-mail, which came from Gonzales aide Kyle Sampson, appeared to contradict the prepared written testimony Gonzales submitted to Congress over the weekend in advance of his Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. In his prepared testimony, Gonzales said that during the months that his senior staff was evaluating U.S. attorneys, including Lam, "I did not make the decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign."
But the recently released e-mail from Sampson, dated June 1, 2006, indicated that Gonzales was actively involved in discussions about Lam and had decided to fire her if she did not improve. In the e-mail to other top Justice Department officials, Sampson outlined several steps that Gonzales suggested, culminating in Lam's replacement if she failed to bolster immigration enforcement.