April 09, 2007

Gonzales Aide Quits Over US Attorneys Flap

A third US justice department official has resigned amid a mounting controversy over the firing of eight federal prosecutors, increasing pressure on Alberto Gonzales, the embattled US attorney-general.

Monica Goodling, the latest official to quit, was senior counsel to Mr. Gonzales and the main liaison between the department of justice and the White House, making her a key target of Democratic lawmakers seeking to prove the sackings were politically motivated.

The resignation came two weeks after Ms Goodling told Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings, asserting her constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.

Her departure leaves Mr. Gonzales, a close ally and confidant of President George W. Bush, looking increasingly exposed, as he prepares to testify to Congress about the controversy in less than two weeks.

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