On Nov. 27, 2006, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and at least five top Justice Department officials held a meeting to implement a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of several U.S. Attorneys.
Just three days later, on Nov. 30, Gonzales appeared on CNN and was asked if he could think of a single mistake he’s made during his service to President Bush during the last six years. He couldn’t do it.
“I think that you and I would — I’d have to spend some time thinking about that,” he said. Watch it:
Now that Gonzales is being held accountable by Congress, he’s changed his tune. Some excerpts from his opening statement he’ll read tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“I am sorry”
“could have — and should have — been handled differently”
“I made mistakes”
“I would have handled this differently”
“I should have done more”
“at times I have been less than precise”
“That statement was too broad”
“imprecise and overbroad”
“I regret that”
“should have been more rigorous”
“should have been completed in a much shorter period of time”
“owes them more respect than they were shown”
“should have worked with them”
“I should have communicated the concerns more effectively”
“I should have informed them of my decisions in a more dignified manner”
“could have been handled much better”
“I want to apologize publicly”
BLITZER: Looking back on the decisions that you’ve made, at the White House, now at the Justice Department, anything jump to mind? Anything that you deeply regret, a decision that you made?
GONZALES: Oh, I think that you and I would — I’d have to spend some time thinking about that. Obviously I’m not going to say that I am perfect and that I’ve been perfect in doing my job. Obviously I’ve made some recommendations to my client. Some of those recommendations have not been supported in the courts. In hindsight, you sometimes wonder, well, perhaps, perhaps the recommendation should have been something different.