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Thursday, March 29, 2007
DOJ agrees on transcribed interviews with House committee


Rep. Conyers is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A spokesman for House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Michigan, said the committee has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that will make available seven DOJ officials for transcribed interviews behind closed doors.

The officials will be interviewed about the process used in firing eight U.S. attorneys late last year. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the matter Thursday from Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The interviews begin Friday with Michael Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty. Elston is the only one of the seven scheduled so far.

The others on the list are McNulty, Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis; director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys Michael Battle; Monica Goodling, the DOJ's liaison to the White House; acting Associate Attorney General William Mercer; and Assistant Attorney General William Moschella.

Goodling, who is currently on personal leave, announced through her attorney this week that she would invoke the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination if she is subpoenaed to testify. It was not clear if she would do the same for the transcribed interviews behind closed doors.

Conyers' spokesman said the interviews are a first step and not in lieu of a hearing.

Gonzales is scheduled to testify before Congress on April 17
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