Senate Democrats called Thursday for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys and administration dissent over President Bush’s domestic surveillance program.
"It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solictor General Paul Clement.
They asked Clement to immediately appoint an indepedent counsel from outside the Justice Department to determine whether Gonzales "may have misled Congress or perjured himself in testimony before Congress."
"We do not make this request lightly," wrote Sens. Charles E. Schumer of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
A draft copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press shortly before a news conference planned by the senators.
Neither Gonzales nor the Justice Department had immediate comment about the letter. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he supports the request.
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