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Alberto Gonzales

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.

DOJ scandal – set to music?

When DC Dicta read transcripts from Alberto Gonzales’s infamous Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, we didn’t hear music. But an undergrad at a Pennsylvania college apparently did – and she went on to write a concert opera based on the fallen attorney general’s testimony. And that show is now on stage in Philadelphia!

Every word sung in The Gonzales Cantata, playing at this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival, comes from the transcripts of the 2007 hearings that marked the beginning of the end for the Justice Department head, who was under fire for the alleged politically-motivated firings of U.S. attorneys and other issues. And since it’s a holiday weekend, and Philly is a quick car trip from Washington, perhaps some locals might consider checking it out.

More, including a Q&A with the show’s writer, here on The WSJ‘s Law Blog.