LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Despite strong support from President Bush, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned on Monday amid political turmoil that President George W. Bush angrily blamed on his administration’s critics in Congress.
Retuers report that Bush, who doggedly supported Gonzales during repeated confrontations with the Democratic-controlled Congress, said Gonzales had endured “months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department.”
“It’s sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons,” Bush said in Texas.
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress had demanded the 52-year-old Gonzales’ resignation over the sacking of federal prosecutors last year, which critics said were politically motivated. He faced a possible perjury investigation for testimony before Congress, where lawmakers complained that his leadership had rendered the Justice Department dysfunctional.
Gonzales also weathered criticism on several other fronts, including his support for Bush’s domestic spying program and his 2002 legal opinion that parts of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war were “obsolete.”
He announced at the Justice Department that his resignation would take effect on Sept. 17. But the attorney general refused to take questions from reporters and gave no reason for his sudden decision to leave. Continued…