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No criminal charges against former AG Gonzales over U.S. attorney firings

A special prosecutor announced yesterday that although Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made “inaccurate and misleading” statements regarding the firing of nine U.S. attorneys during his tenure, he will not face criminal charges.

Nora Dannehy, the special prosecutor charged with the investigation into the alleged politically-motivated firings of the federal prosecutors, ended her probe by recommending that Gonzales and his former chief of staff Kyle Sampson not by charged criminally.

“Based on a consideration of all the evidence and the legal standards, Ms. Dannehy concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish that persons knowingly made material false statements to [the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility] or Congress or corruptly endeavored to obstruct justice,” according to a letter sent by the Justice Department to Congress yesterday [care of the BLT Blog].

That is not to say that all was fine at Main Justice during that time, the letter stated. The Department pointed out that Dannehy was only tasked to find out whether there was criminal wrongdoing, not just ethical violations.

“The Attorney General remains deeply dismayed by the OIG/OPR findings related to politicization of the Department’s actions, and has taken steps to ensure those mistakes will not be repeated,” the letter states.

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