Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Attorneys Dispute Widens

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales clung to his job as documents his Justice Department sent to Congress confirmed the Bush administration's fears that the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys might not stand up to scrutiny.

Particularly worrisome, according to some references in the 3,000 pages of ­e-mails and other material released late Monday, was the prospect of former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins ­testifying before Congress.

"I don't think he should," Gonzales' chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, wrote in a Feb. 1 e-mail. "How would he answer: Did you resign voluntarily? Who told you? What did they say?"

Cummins was relieved as U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, and replaced by Tim Griffin, a former assistant to top White House aide Karl Rove.

In his e-mail to colleagues, Sampson listed more questions that Cummins might have to answer if he were to testify to Congress: "Did you ever talk to Tim Griffin about his becoming U.S. attorney? What did Griffin say? Did Griffin ever talk about being [Attorney General-appointed] and avoiding Senate confirmation? Were you asked to resign because you were under-performing? If not, then why?"

The dispute over the prosecutors has become the latest clash between U.S. President George W. Bush's Republican Party and the newly empowered Democratic majority in Congress.