(CNN) – There is political irony to President Bush’s first stop Monday after the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
President Bush leaves Texas for Albuquerque, New Mexico in order to appear at a private fund-raiser with Sen. Pete Domenici. The city and the senator were both at the center of the U.S. Attorney firing flap.
David Iglesias was the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, and one of the most outspoken of the eight fired prosecutors. He said he was called by Domenici twelve days before the 2006 midterm elections, and asked about the status of a corruption investigation into Democrats. He said when he told the senator that charges would not be filed before the election, Domenici said, “I’m very sorry to hear that” and hung up.
Domenici later admitted making the call, saying he never pressured Iglesias but acknowledging, “I regret making the call and I apologize.”
The Justice Department also said Domenici called outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or his aides four times to complain about Iglesias.
The president’s second stop Monday is in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue for another political fund-raiser. Seattle was the home to another fired U.S. Attorney, John McKay, who also contends his dismissal was politically motivated.
Domenici faces re-election next year in a race that promises to be heavily targeted by Democrats.
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk