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Gonzales declines to address changes in his testimony

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Friday declined to provide more information about discrepancies in his sworn testimony about the purge of federal prosecutors.

Critics say the differences indicate that he misled Congress about his department’s purge of federal prosecutors, but Gonzales has denied that.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Gonzales reiterated his position that alleged violations of the USA Patriot Act were mistakes rather than civil liberties abuses. He said he was not aware of any political briefings at the Justice Department akin to those given by White House political aides at other federal agencies. He also offered a classified briefing on the reason for his famous hospital visit to Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004.


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