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Senate Panel Postpones Gonzales Appearance

The shootings at Virginia Tech have prompted the postponement of a much anticipated Senate hearing with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The nation's top law enforcement official is under pressure to explain his role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys in 2006.

When he visits Congress Thursday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will seek to explain the dismissals — and why his explanations have been inconsistent. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said that Gonzales so badly mishandled the incident that he should resign.

In the three months since Gonzales testified before Congress about the federal prosecutors, both documents and testimony from Justice Department officials have contradicted his account. Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos is calling the hearing another step in Gonzales' effort to fix the problem.

But members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say Gonzales must explain specifically why each of the U.S. attorneys was chosen for dismissal.

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Ari Shapiro
Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
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