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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Memo: Gonzales mishandled notes

September 02, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Then-Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales mishandled highly classified notes about a secret counter-terrorism program, but not on purpose, according to a memo by his legal team.

The memo, obtained by the Associated Press, acknowledges that Gonzales improperly stored notes about the program and might have taken them home at one point -- a violation of government policy.

The classified notes focus on a March 2004 meeting with congressional leaders about a national security program that was about to expire. Efforts to renew the program sparked an intense Bush administration debate that played out at the hospital bedside of then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.

The memo was prepared by Gonzales' legal team in response to a report being finalized by the Justice Department's inspector general that could be released as early as today.

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