Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has hired a powerful Washington attorney to represent him.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has hired influential Washington attorney George Terwilliger to represent him as a probe continues into allegations he misled lawmakers about a controversial surveillance program and illegally let politics influence hiring and firing decisions at the Justice Department.
Terwilliger tells CNN his firm is "assisting Judge Gonzales as we assist many companies and individuals when they are cooperating with investigations. It is always unfair for anyone to assume that hiring a lawyer represents anything other than common sense."
The Justice Department's Inspector General and its Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year and other issues that subsequently arose from the congressional probe into them, including whether Gonzales intentionally misled Congress about the administration's warrantless surveillance program and internal opposition to it.
Gonzales has maintained he did nothing intentionally wrong in relation to those incidents.
Terwilliger was the Justice Department's No. 2 official in the early 1990s and, according to several officials, was on the short list to replace Gonzales after he resigned in August.
President Bush has nominated retired federal judge Michael Mukasey to replace Gonzales.
- CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena