Gonzales is testifying again over the firing of eight US attorneys.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee opened a hearing Tuesday into what it considers are conflicts in testimony from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over the firings of at least eight U.S. attorneys last year and other issues.
"Evidence points to Karl Rove and the political operatives at the White House" being involved in a cover-up of the details, committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vermont, said in his opening statement.
"The question is whether the Department of Justice is functioning - as it must - to protect the vital interests of the American people," Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the committee, told Gonzales in his opening statements.
The firings, allegedly for political reasons, have placed "a very heavy cloud" over the agency, Specter said.