It depends on what the meaning of "interfere" is

Gonzales acknowledges that the Justice Department pressured San Diego prosecutor to focus on priorities other than public corruption.

Published March 14, 2007 3:38PM (EDT)

Alberto Gonzales said this morning that the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year was "not politically motivated." "They were not done in retaliation or to interfere with a public corruption case."

But in an appearance on CBS's "The Early Show" today, the attorney general acknowledged that the Justice Department pressured U.S. attorney Carol Lam -- the San Diego-based prosecutor who brought charges against Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham -- not to focus so much on corruption cases. "We advised Ms. Lam of these other priorities -- that she needed to focus on other issues as well," Gonzales said. "A U.S. attorney can't just focus on one particular problem. A U.S. attorney has to focus on all the needs of the community."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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