Updated: Gonzales, Bush & the US Attorneys, the backstory [VIDEO x 2]

Salon Columnist Joe Conason, author of It Can Happen Here, explains the background and importance of the White House-initiated politically-motivated firing of US Attorneys with Amy Goodman. This is Part 1...

AMY GOODMAN: Calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign are increasing as more details emerge on how the Justice Department worked with the White House to fire eight US attorneys. Gonzales acknowledged Tuesday mistakes had been made, but refused to step down.

On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers said they want to question White House adviser Karl Rove and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. The House Judiciary Committee released a series of emails and documents that show the White House initiated the process more than two years ago that led to the dismissals. The decisions were made in part on whether the prosecutors "exhibited loyalty to the president and attorney general."

In one case, the Attorney General's chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson -- who resigned on Monday -- urged the White House counsel's office to call him regarding "the real problem we have right now with Carol Lam." Carol Lam was the U.S. Attorney in Southern California who was leading the investigation of former Republican Congressmember Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who went to jail. Sampson's email came on May 11, 2006, the same day the Los Angeles Times reported that Lam's investigation was expanding to include another California Republican, Congressmember Jerry Lewis. Carol Lam later became one of the eight prosecutors fired.

In a few minutes, we will speak with journalist Joe Conason. He’s been...

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