WASHINGTON, March 23 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senior advisers discussed the plan to remove seven United States attorneys at a meeting last Nov. 27, 10 days before the dismissals were carried out, according to a Justice Department calendar entry disclosed Friday.
The previously undisclosed meeting appeared to contradict Mr. Gonzales’s previous statements about his knowledge of the dismissals. He said at a news conference on March 13 that he had not participated in any discussions about the removals, but knew in general that his aides were working on personnel changes involving United States attorneys.
Tasia Scolinos, a Justice Department spokeswoman, told reporters on Friday evening that Mr. Gonzales’s attendance at the hourlong meeting was not inconsistent with his past remarks.
“He tasked his chief of staff to carry this plan forward,” Ms. Scolinos said. “He did not participate in the selection of the U.S. attorneys to be fired. He did sign off on the final list.”
Ms. Scolinos said the meeting was in Mr. Gonzales’s conference room at the Justice Department. The meeting focused on “rollout” of the dismissals, she said, and from available records was not a meeting in which a final target list was determined.