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Alberto Gonzales On U.S. Attorney Firing Scandal: 'I Feel Angry That I Had To Go Through This'

Alberto Gonzales

07/23/10 07:04 PM ET   AP

WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Friday he's angry about being put through a long-running criminal investigation into his role in the firings of U.S. attorneys.

"I feel angry that I had to go through this. That my family had to suffer through and what for?" Gonzales said in an interview with CNN.

The investigation by career prosecutor Nora Dannehy that began in September 2008 found the Justice Department's actions in the firings of U.S. attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico during the Bush administration were inappropriately political, but not criminal. The investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias.

Dannehy's "judgment as to political correctness of a decision by the attorney general or by the president of the United States, quite frankly, is inappropriate and unwarranted," said Gonzales.

He added the job of a prosecutor is to determine whether a crime has been committed, and there was no evidence in the removal of any of nine U.S. attorneys that any of the cases they handled were improperly influenced.

"This was about making a decision on personnel," Gonzales said. "I made the decision based upon what I thought was best for the department and for the American people. All these investigations have now confirmed that this was not to influence improperly any ongoing investigation or to punish anyone for political reasons."

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Filed by Jeff Muskus  |