Gonzales referred to a letter his office had sent Feinstein earlier in the week on the issue.
"I read the letter," Feinstein shot back. Gonzales denied the administration had any tricks up its sleeve and was only trying to do what was best.
"Do you deny that your office has asked U.S. Attorneys to resign in the past year?" Feinstein asked.
"I don't deny that," Gonzales said. "But that happens in every administration, during different periods for different reasons. . . Some people should view that as a sign of good management."
Questions from the panel moved on to other subjects, and perhaps Gonzales thought he was off the hook. Then Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) spoke up.
"If we take a break for lunch," Leahy asked him, "would it be possible to get the number Sen. Feinstein asked for?"
Gonzales fished around for an answer, and finally answered, "I think so." But then he said he couldn't get into a public discussion of personnel matters.
"I don't care about the people," Leahy shot back. "Just get us the numbers."