Gonzales has resigned, officials say
Attorney general to address media at 10:30 am ET; Bush also to comment
WASHINGTON - Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under fire from congressional Democrats, has resigned, senior Bush administration officials said Monday.
Another official, also 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.
Gonzales has scheduled a 10:30 a.m. ET statement at the Justice Department. NBC News reports President Bush is also expected to a make a statement about 11:55 a.m. ET, as he prepares to depart Waco, Texas, for a fundraising event in Albuquerque, N.M.
The 51-year-old Bush loyalist was at the center of a political firestorm for President Bush over the sacking of eight federal prosecutors, which critics in Congress complained were politically motivated.
A senior Justice Department official said that a likely temporary replacement for Gonzales is Solicitor General Paul Clement, who would take over until a permanent replacement is found.
Gonzales worked for Bush when he was governor of Texas in the 1990s. He served as White House lawyer in Bush's first term as president before becoming the first Hispanic attorney general in February 2005.
Gonzales drew fire from civil liberties groups for writing in January 2002 that parts of the half-century-old Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war were "obsolete" and some provisions were "quaint."
He also was criticized for Bush's warrantless domestic spying program adopted after the Sept. 11 attacks. Only in January, in an abrupt reversal, Gonzales said the program finally would be subject to court approval.