The Justice Department’s liaison to the White House announced she would take the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination rather than testify in the U.S. attorney scandal. Meanwhile, Alberto Gonzales said he was “really pained” by diminishing support from lawmakers.

AP via Yahoo:

WASHINGTON — A senior aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has decided against testifying before lawmakers about her role in the ousters of eight federal prosecutors, the latest flare-up in the controversy surrounding the Justice Department.

Monica Goodling’s announcement that she would take the Fifth Amendment to avoid possibly incriminating herself came as the embattled attorney general cast himself as misunderstood in his conflicting accounts of his involvement in the firings. Goodling is the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House.

Gonzales was to be in Cincinnati and Chicago on Tuesday in the latest leg of a multistate tour to promote a crackdown on child sex abuse and soothe U.S. attorneys who might be smarting over the dismissals.

Fending off calls for his resignation, Gonzales on Monday said he was “really pained” by Republicans and Democrats who say he has lost his credibility in dealing with the firings. A growing number of critics say the dismissals were politically motivated.

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