Officials say Gonzales is leaving

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

President Bush will be talking this morning about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation. The president is expected to make comments on the matter from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Two administration officials say the attorney general submitted his resignation letter last Friday and could be off the job in as little as two weeks.

Gonzales maintained the dismissals were based on the prosecutors' lackluster performances.

His likely temporary replacement is Solicitor General Paul Clement.

Gonzales is the fourth top-level Bush administration official to leave since the Democrats were swept into power in Congress in the November elections.

Democrats say "it's about time" Gonzales stepped down

For months, Democrats in Congress have been calling for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to step down. Now that administration officials say he has handed in his resignation, Gonzales critics are saying it's about time.

Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement he hopes this decision will allow the American public to "renew their faith" in the Justice Department.

Senator Charles Schumer, one of Gonzales' most vocal critics, says "at last, the attorney general has done the right thing."

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says of the decision that it's "better late than never."

And Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says Gonzales "promoted a culture of lawlessness" on behalf of what Dean calls "the Bush White House's narrow political agenda."

Democrats have repeatedly claimed that there were political motivations in the firings of the U.S. attorneys. And they have protested Gonzales' handling of the warrantless wiretapping program.

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