U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Alberto Gonzales, official Department of Justice portrait.

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, after several months of controversy, today announced his resignation after 13 years of public service. He will leave office on September 17, 2007. While he did not elaborate on the circumstances of his departure, he referred to his tenure as a "remarkable journey" and said he had "lived the American dream."

Critics of the embattled Attorney General have called for his ousting for several months, largely over his conflicts with the US Congress over the Bush Administration's warrant-less wiretapping program, and his firing of nine US attorneys.

George W. Bush and Laura Bush sit with Alberto Gonzales and his wife, Rebecca, during a visit August 26, 2007, at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Observers have expressed surprise at the sudden announcement, as Gonzales had said as recently as the weekend of the 18th of August that he had planned to stay through the end of President Bush's second term.

Critics of the Attorney General, most notably Harry Reid, majority leader for the US Senate, have welcomed the announcement, as Gonzales had been one of the most controversial members of the Bush Administration.

President Bush spoke on his "close friend's" resignation saying that he has reluctantly accepted the resignation, but noted that Gonzales' name had been "dragged through the mud for political reasons." Throughout the recent controversy Bush has stood next to Gonzales. Paul Clement, the current Solicitor General, will serve as the acting Attorney General until a replacement has been confirmed by the Senate.