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The investigation into the role of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his senior aides in the controversial purge of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 is moving ahead, say officials and others with knowledge of the probe. Last week, investigators with the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility returned to Albuquerque, N.M., to interview a witness about alleged political pressure applied to ex-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias prior to his firing a year ago, according to Iglesias. He has alleged that Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) called him ahead of the November 2006 election to ask about an investigation into voter fraud involving Democrats and said that he felt pressured by their requests. Iglesias, who was interviewed for about three hours in early June by investigators, says, “It was like a deposition. Good, solid questions designed to determine the extent of how much politics were involved in my forced termination.” Deputy Inspector General Paul Martin says his office also has “committed substantial resources” to the investigation, but he cannot discuss specifics. Another Justice official says the investigations into the U.S. attorney dismissals and hiring practices by political appointees are moving along, and both watchdog agencies are sharing the load. “It’s being conducted on an expedited basis because it’s an important matter,” the official says. “We are trying to complete it as quickly as possible.”
Pedro Ruz Gutierrez can be contacted at [email protected].

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