Bush and Alberto Gonzales: Live Resignation Statements

Update: Bush Live Statement: (Not a transcript, just live-blogging.)

Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. I have reluctantly accepted his resignation with appreciation for his service. He has played a critical role in the war on terror, in developing the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. He made enforcement of civil rights laws a top priority. He did great on child sex crimes and in fighting corruption. He played a leading role in selecting Justices Alito and Roberts.

He has become a close friend. He and his family have sacrificed.

After months of unfair treatment, he has decided to resign. It's sad when someone like Gonzales is prevented from doing good work because his good name has been dragged through the mud for political purposes.

Solicitor General Paul Clement will serve as acting AG until a replacement is named and confirmed.

No questions taken. More...

Gonzales Statement:

Statement: If you blinked, you missed it. Main points: It was a privilege to serve as Attorney General. Gives thanks. He has lived the American Dream. His resignation is effective September 17.

It's over. May be one of the briefest statements ever.

President Bush is expected to make a statement around 11:50 am ET from the Waco airport. We'll update here when he does.

BTD - The resignation is effective September 17 so all the recess appointment talk is inoperative.

< Takes on the early list of potential replacements for Gonzo | Early take on potential Attorney General Nominees >
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    Apparently (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:52:56 AM EST
    He forgot why he was resigning.

    Good riddance (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:58:10 AM EST
    in one sense, but since the new guy is not going to be burdened with all of Gonzo's crimes, he (and Bushie will not name a woman) will get to exercise all that power the Dems just gave him in New FISA, without worrying about the Dems.

    Gonzo was a bleeding wound, and should have stayed on to keep the bleeding going.  Those 17th and 18th century physicians had it right - bleeding does cure all ills.

    Why Now? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:17:05 AM EST
    I still can't figure out why he resigned now.  There has to be something behind this - the perjury investigation, some new scandal, or some behind the scenes pressure from Republicans to avoid more hearings leading into next years elections.  Although I'm dubious that the last reason would hold much water with Bush, he's already shown he doesn't give a crap about saving Republican Congress members and they've already shown they'll be loyal to him anyway.

    If Chertoff is going to be the nominee, a fresh look needs to be taken at him.  None of this "he's been confirmed three times" stuff.  I don't think he's as big a lap dog as Gonzales and certainly, from what I know of him, he's a much better lawyer than Fredo appears to be.   But given the politicization of DOJ under Gonzales and his role in being a firewall for the President on all the scandals, more scrutiny needs to be given to Chertoff's role flacking for D'Amato in the Whitewater Investigation and his relationship with Rudy Guliani (especially in light of the voter fraud, politicization of elections crap).  

    The thought of Chertoff as AG during next year's election can't make Hillary Clinton very happy, particularly if Rudy is the Republican nominee.  If the other Dem candidates are paying attention, it shouldn't make them very happy either.

    Yes, I know I sound paranoid, but I think it's pretty clear from the US Attorney firings, the Rove political briefings, and the voter fraud cases that they really are out to get Dems.  And it may be that Chertoff will not engage in political witch hunts (I certainly trust him more than Gonzales, but that's not saying much).  Democrats, however, should be very careful of him or any other nominee.

    "Why now?" Well, because (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:50:05 AM EST
    (1) the Preznit's Chief of Staff Bartlett made it clear earlier this summer that if you were still on the team as of Labor Day, you were expected to finish out the Preznit's entire term (so get, while the getting's good);
    (2) there is something big brewing which would take out Gonzo, et als. and these resignations are a way of (what trial lawyers call) "pulling the sting", i.e., getting the bad out in your case, when you can control how it's presented;
    (3) the Shadow Government needs staffing (and, who better than the guys who made it all possible?);
    (4) there's a pressing need for clean (or less-dirty) hands on the levers of power, to work them in support of The Party during the coming year;
    (5) they've figured out Osama's next attack is really, really on the way so, by putting new guys in the job slots, those new guys can use the "ignorance/new guy on the job" and "negligence-of-others" defenses to the inevitable recriminations;
    (6) the Preznit figured out that keeping Gonzo and Rover around actually was hurting him;
    (7) Deadeye won an internal debate about (pick any number of these) attacking Iran, more torture, placesettings at the barbeque, the best choice of shotguns for quail hunting, and the loser had to go;
    (8) there was a sudden attack of decency which made clear that perjurers were not appropriate place-fillers anywhere in the DoJ.

    Take your pick, or come up with another you think fits the bill.


    FISA (none / 0) (#15)
    by Categorically Imperative on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:24:18 AM EST
    Now that BushCo got what it wanted with the new FISA law (i.e. a new and improved version of Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program), the maladministration didn't want to screw things up by leaving Gonzo in there as the guy with the authority to sign off on wiretaps.  With the Dems having belatedly figured out that perhaps they shouldn't have voted for the FISA "update," they were looking to leverage Gonzo's involvement in wiretapping and previous abuses of the "TSP" to conduct further investigations and figure out a better way forward with FISA.

    With Gonzo's credibility in the toilet, the Dems had an easy sell on all this.  Now, BushCo can insulate itself from the thrust of these investigations.  They're already trotting out the talking point re: now that Rove and Gonzo are gone, legislate, don't investigate.  In any case, my guess is that these guys didn't want to risk blowing their domestic spying program, and Gonzo's work was already largely done, so there was no reason to keep him around (i.e., boat ride time for Fredo)


    Interesting thought (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:39:56 AM EST
    What a whiner (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:00:49 AM EST
    and a hypocrite.

    His good name was dragged through the mud for political purposes?  What about all those fired USA's whose reputations were harmed for political purposes?

    The cult of conservative victimhood (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:13:33 AM EST
    Wow! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:37:22 AM EST
    I swear I missed it. I was out of the room for 30 seconds.

    I read the resignation is effective 9/17 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:51:50 AM EST
    So for thse wondering, no recess appointment.

    The only relevant point (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:14:29 AM EST
    in the statement.

    President Comment Timing (none / 0) (#2)
    by cboldt on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:50:32 AM EST
    is 10:50 or so, Central time .. in case people are glued to the teevee or whatnot.

    Vingtage Gonzo "No Questions Please" (none / 0) (#6)
    by Saul on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:10:50 AM EST
    What else did you expect.  It's in keeping with congessional hearings.  Answer as little as possible or if they is an out don't answer anything.

    Text of announcement (none / 0) (#8)
    by cboldt on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:28:04 AM EST
    ... make a positive difference in the lives of others. During this time I have traveled a remarkable journey from my home state of Texas to Washington, DC, supported by the unwavering love and encouragement of my wife Rebbecca and our sons Jared, Graham, and Gabriel.

    Yesterday I met with President Bush and informed him of my decision to conclude my government service as Attorney General of the United States effective as of September 17th, 2007.

    Let me say that it's been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice. I have great admiration and respect for the men and women who work here. I have made a point as Attorney General to personally meet as many of them as possible, and today I want to again thank them for their service to our nation. It is through their continued work that our country and communities remain safe, that the rights and civil liberties of our citizens are protected and the hopes and dreams of all of our children are secured.

    I also remind our fellow citizens that we live in the greatest country in the world, and that I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as Attorney General have been better than my father's best days.

    Public service is honorable and noble. And I am profoundly grateful to President Bush for his friendship and for the many opportunities he has given me to serve the American people.

    Thank you, and God bless America.

    Q: Why are you leaving? Q: Why now? Q: Why did you deny your resignation on Sunday, to the New York Times?

    Lies On His Way Out the Door (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by BDB on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:44:10 AM EST
    "I have great admiration and respect for the men and women who work here."

    Although perhaps in Gonzo-speak this is not a lie.  As Clinton once said, it depends on what the meaning of is is.  

    Possible Translation:  I respect the men and women who work here now that we were able to substantially purge the people who worked here under that liberal John Ashcroft and replace them with "real Americans," by which I mean graduates of Regent Univeristy.


    Why Am I Surprised (none / 0) (#12)
    by LaPopessa on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11:03:11 AM EST
    To be watching Bush go on and on about the saddness of Gonzo being DRIVEN from office by politicians. This is, after all, the same man who thinks we're either winning in Iraq, or that we're losing but shouldn't leave because that's what we did in Vietnam.

    Up is down, down is up and it's like being in some sort of twisted Alice in Wonderland experience listening to that man speak.