House Judiciary chairman demands explanation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is expressing outrage that the Justice Department isn't pursuing charges against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

A report by the deparment's inspector general found that Gonzales had mishandled top-secret documents concerning a surveillance program and detainee interrogations.

However, the report says the agency decided not to press charges against Gonzales, who resigned under fire last year.

In a statement, House Judiciary chairman John Conyers says he's "shocked" by the report's findings. He says Justice should explain clearly why it's declined to pursue charges against Gonzales.

At issue is how, and where, Gonzales stored the documents. The report says at the Justice Department, Gonzales kept the documents in a safe in a fifth-floor office that was not considered properly secure.

Additionally, the report found Gonzales also took some documents to his house in suburban Virginia.

Gonzales' lawyers call the lapses innocent mistakes.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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