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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales abruptly canceled travel plans Tuesday amid growing calls for his ouster over the firings of eight federal prosecutors during a White House-directed housecleaning of U.S. attorneys.[...]The government's 93 U.S. attorneys are presidential appointees who can be hired and fired at will. But critics say the fate of the eight who were dismissed last year appeared to have been politically motivated. And Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike said they were outraged that Justice Department officials weren't forthcoming on how the firings unfolded -- even when asked, under oath, by Congress.
White House spokesman Tony Snow confirmed that it was former White House counsel Harriet Miers who came up with an idea to remove all the federal prosecutors and bring in "fresh blood" at the beginning of President Bush's second term.
Meanwhile, the chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as criticism grows over the firing of eight federal prosecutors last year.