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Former Gonzales Deputy Contradicts Boss's Story

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was more involved than he had previously acknowledged in the decision to dismiss eight U.S. attorneys in 2006, according to his former chief of staff. Kyle Sampson faced hours of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And it appears that the U.S. prosecutor scandal may yet cost the attorney general his job.

Sampson arrived at the hearing hoping to fix the problem, saying that the decisions behind the dismissals were "properly made but poorly explained." He described the dismissals of 8 U.S. attorneys as a good-faith attempt to carry out the Justice Department's management responsibilities.

But under questioning from a string of antagonistic senators, Sampson repeatedly contradicted his former boss, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who had said, as New York Democrat Charles Schumer quoted, "I never saw documents, we never had a discussion of where things stood."

Throughout the hearing, Sampson described his boss as playing a more hands-on role in the dismissals than anyone had previously acknowledged.

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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.