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Gonzales rejects Democrat call to recuse himself from Abramoff investigation

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] Thursday rejected a call [letter, PDF; JURIST report] from thirty-one Senate Democrats to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation of Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] because he was too close to the President and other top officials associated with the lobbyist. In January, Gonzales similarly rebuffed a call from Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) [official website] and Ken Salazar (D-CO) [official website] for the appointment of a special prosecutor [JURIST report] in the case.

Gonzales told Fox News Radio that the career prosecutors handling the investigation were not motivated by any political agenda. A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice [official website] said all departmental guidelines were being followed and there was no need for Gonzales to recuse himself at this time.

Despite calls for information about the President's relationship with Abramoff, the White House has thusfar said little. Bush has admitted that Abramoff attended several White House functions, and apparently was photographed with him, but denies knowing him. According to the Washingtonian, Abramoff claims a closer connection. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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