From an interview
tonight with NBC:
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: I asked for their resignation not for improper reasons. I would never have asked for their resignations to interfere with a public corruption case or in any way to interfere with an ongoing investigation. I just wouldn't do that. And if you look carefully at the documentation we've provided to Congress, there's no evidence of that....
I directed the Department officials participate in interviews and hearings before the Congress. As I've indicated, I've asked OPR to be involved, to work with the Office of Inspector General so we can reassure the American public that nothing improper happened here. I've got nothing to hide in terms of what I've done. And we now want to reassure the American public that nothing improper happened here.
If I find out that, in fact, any of these decisions were motivated, the recommendations to me were motivated for improper reasons to interfere with the public corruption case, there will be swift and -- there will be swift and decisive action. I can assure you that.
PETE WILLIAMS: Meaning people would be fired?
ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Absolutely. Because there is no place for that. Our prosecutors have to-- there has to be no question about the integrity, the professionalism, undue influence of prosecutions in connection with public corruption kinds of cases. And if I find out that any of that occurred here involving the Department of Justice officials, yes, they will be removed.
Gonzales also explains the discrepancy
between his March 13 statement that "I was not involved in any discussions about what was going on" and the revelation that he participated in just such a meeting about what was going on ten days before the firings.
What he really
meant, he explains, was that he wasn't involved in the nitty-gritty: "I was never focused on specific concerns about United States Attorneys as to whether or not they should be asked to resign." And no wonder. The reasons kept changing.