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US Attorney General Says His Future Up to President Bush

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says whether he stays in office or resigns is up to President Bush.

During a series of televised interviews Wednesday morning, Gonzales continued to defend himself over the recent firings of eight federal prosecutors. He says the firings were part of a process to improve the job performance of all federal attorneys.

A number of prominent Democratic leaders are calling for Gonzales to step down - among them are presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Critics say the attorney general seemed to confuse his prior role as the president's personal attorney with his present duty to uphold the laws of the entire country.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett told reporters traveling with President Bush in Mexico Tuesday that Mr. Bush continues to have confidence in Gonzales. Bartlett said the president is satisfied that Gonzales has pledged to address concerns.

Several emails released on Tuesday show the White House initiated the process that led to the firings. Democrats say the dismissals were politically motivated.

Gonzales says he was aware of communications between his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, and former White House counsel Harriet Miers over the firings. Sampson has resigned as Gonzales's chief of staff.

Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees want to question Gonzales, President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and Sampson about their role in the firings.

U.S. attorneys are typically appointed to four-year terms by the president on the recommendation of state political leaders and they serve at the pleasure of the president.