Another One Bites the Dust… Alberto Gonzales Resigns
Gonzo is Gone!
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales listens to opening remarks prior to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing in Washington, in this July 24, 2007. (Reuters)
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, ending a months-long standoff with Republican and Democratic critics who called for his ouster over the Justice Department’s botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firing of U.S. attorneys, officials said Monday.
The likely temporary replacement for Gonzales is Solicitor General Paul Clement, who would take over until a permanent replacement is found, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Justice Department planned a news conference for 10:30 a.m. in Washington. President Bush was expected to discuss Gonzales’ departure at his Crawford, Texas, ranch., before leaving on a trip to western states.
Two administration officials speaking on grounds of anonymity said that Gonzales had submitted a resignation letter last Friday. These officials declined to be identified because the formal announcement about Gonzales was still pending.
A longtime friend of Bush, who once considered him for appointment to the Supreme Court, Gonzales is the fourth high-ranking administration official to leave since November 2006. Donald H. Rumsfeld, an architect of the Iraq war, resigned as defense secretary one day after the November elections. Paul Wolfowitz agreed in May to step down as president of the World Bank after an ethics inquiry. And top Bush adviser Karl Rove earlier this month announced he was stepping down.
Gonzales had to be one of the most politically incompetent people ever to hold such a high position in Washington. It’s hard to think of anything he touched in six and a half years in Washington that didn’t end up getting President Bush the worst possible press (with the arguable exception of when he advised Bush not to put Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court).
Kim Priestap at Wizbang adds this:
Don’t forget that just a couple weeks ago, when Karl Rove announced his resignation, we learned that Bush’s Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said that those who weren’t prepared to stay for the remainder of Bush’s term should leave by Labor Day. Gonzales’ resignation seems to fall in line more with this than with any pressure from critics for him to leave.
Michelle Malkin is following the story.
Press Conference at 10:30.