Embattled U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns

Gonzales is expected to announce his resignation today, the White House said. The former rising star in the Bush administration came under fire from congressional Democrats over his handling of the ouster of eight U.S. attorneys. In the past, Mr. Gonzales had admitted mistakes were made in providing "incomplete" and misleading answers about the firings of the U.S. attorneys.?Many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have long called for his ouster after the firing of several U.S. attorneys in 2006.

One of Gonzales' chief critics, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, hailed the move by Gonzales. "Well I think that clearly this was the right thing to do," the New York Democrat told CNN. "It took a long time but there is no question about it that the Justice Department is virtually non-functional."?Schumer added that, "no one thought Alberto Gonzales was up to the job" saying that "we need someone who will put rule of law first."

Gonzales' move comes after Bush's chief political strategist Karl Rove announced his resignation earlier this month. Senior administration officials said White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten had told senior aides that if they intended to stay after Labor Day, plan to remain for the rest of Bush's term through January 2009.

Bush will likely nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to the position, senior administration officials said. Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, would replace Chertoff, the officials said.

(Published by The New York Times, August 27, 2007)

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