Prosecutor named to probe US attorneys' firings

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WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a prosecutor today to pursue possible criminal charges against Republicans who were involved in the controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys in late 2006.

One of the prosecutors who lost their jobs was Paul Charlton, who was the U.S. attorney for Arizona.

Mukasey's action today follows the leading recommendation of a Justice Department investigation. That probe harshly criticized Bush administration officials, members of Congress and their aides for the ousters, which were seen by many as politically motivated.

Results of the investigation were made public today. The report singled out the removal of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico as the most troubling.

Republican political figures in New Mexico, including Senator Pete Domenici and Congresswoman Heather Wilson, had complained about Iglesias' handling of voter fraud and public corruption cases, and that led to his firing, the report said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)