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Giuliani: Let Gonzales explain

March 23, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney in New York, said Thursday that Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales should get "the benefit of the doubt" in the uproar over the firings of federal prosecutors.

"The president has addressed it," Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, said. "The attorney general's an honorable man. He's a decent man. He should be given a chance to explain and everybody should sort of give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to explain."

Republicans and Democrats have questioned Gonzales' leadership and some have called for him to resign as Congress investigates whether the firings of eight prosecutors over the past year were politically motivated.

President Bush insists that the firings were appropriate and is standing by the country's top law enforcement official. Democrats argue the prosecutors were forced out for political reasons.

"We should try to remove on both sides as much of the partisanship as possible," said Giuliani, who before becoming mayor was a prosecutor waging campaigns against organized crime and corruption.

He also spent two years as the Justice Department's No. 3 official, overseeing all U.S. attorneys, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Giuliani wouldn't say whether he thought anyone involved in the firings acted improperly.

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