Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned; a replacement is expected to be named soon. That confirmation hearing will be something to see.
The New York Times leads the story:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned.
False accusations of perjury, made largely by the Times itself. More apt commentary came from an unnamed administration official:
The official said that the decision was Mr. Gonzales’s and that the president accepted it grudgingly. At the same time, the official acknowledged that the turmoil over his tenure as Attorney General had made continuing difficult.
“The unfair treatment that he’s been on the receiving end of has been a distraction for the department,” the official said.
PAUL adds: I’ve never been a fan of Gonzales, but I can’t help feeling sorry for him. The “scandal” that led to his demise — the firing of the U.S. attorneys — appears to involve no wrongdoing on his part. Moreover, the underlying decisions and process appear to have been the product of the White House, not Gonzales. His defense of the decisions was hardly stellar, but if I’m correct, he was handicapped by the fact that they were not really his decisions.
Gonzales’s only real offense seems to have been mediocrity. But mediocrity in an Attorney General is nothing new (think Janet Reno), and any blame for this occurrence properly attaches to the White House.
Often the biggest favor a president can do for a friend is to not appoint him or her to very high office.
JOHN adds: President Bush gave a short statement in Texas, in which he defended Gonzales:
President Bush on Monday said he reluctantly accepted the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose “good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.”
After months of standing by his top prosecutor and “close friend,” Bush spoke briefly in Texas to praise Gonzales, saying the attorney general endured “unfair treatment that has created harmful distraction at the Justice Department.”
Bush said it’s “sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person” is impeded “from doing important work.”
All true, and good to see. Unfortunately, the administration has hit back against its Democratic opponents far too rarely and far too gently.
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