|America’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has bowed to pressure and resigned from his post after several scandals and accusations of perjury before Congress.|
Gonzales announced his resignation yesterday declaring that he had ‘lived the American dream’ by being able to lead the US Department of Justice. He had rebuffed calls for his resignation for months but submitted it to President Bush by telephone on Friday. There had been rumours over the weekend that Gonzales’ departure was imminent but the White House had dismissed these until Monday’s announcement.
“Thank you and God bless America,” said Gonzales after announcing his resignation without responding to questions.
During his tenure as the head of agencies that have caused significant damage to the industry's business ambitions in the United States, Gonzales was at one stage reported to have promised anti-online gambling politician Arizona Senator Jon Kyl that he would do everything in his power to ensure the demise of online gambling.
Vacationing at his home near Waco, Texas, President Bush said he had accepted Gonzales’ resignation reluctantly and praised his friend as ‘a man of integrity, decency and principle’ and complained of the ‘months of unfair treatment’ that preceded the resignation.
Gonzales resignation will become official on September 17 with the President announcing that Solicitor General, Paul Clement, would serve as Acting Attorney General until a permanent replacement could be chosen.
Although no official candidates have been announced, those mentioned as a possible successor to Gonzales include Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security and a former Federal Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General and Federal Judge, Christopher Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Larry Thompson, a former Deputy Attorney General.