The chief of staff to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned amid intense scrutiny of the Justice Department accused of excessive use of tough anti-terror laws and being overtly political.
Gonzales' chief of staff Kyle Sampson has resigned his position as chief of staff to the attorney general from Monday, March 12, the department said.
"Kyle Sampson has served as a key member of my team beginning at the White House and continuing here at the Department of Justice first as my Deputy Chief of Staff and then as my Chief of Staff," Gonzales said in a statement.
"I am very appreciative for his service, counsel and friendship during the last six years and I thank him for his service to the department."
Calls mounted over the weekend for Gonzales to resign, with critics saying he has failed to make the transition from being the personal lawyer of President George W. Bush to heading up the country's Justice Department.
Gonzales has been a loyal aide to George W. Bush since 1995 when the now-president was governor of Texas. Long before his nomination to the attorney general's post in 2004, he ran the Bush's legal services.
The United States has been rocked by a series of revelations that officials overstepped their authority in applying tough anti-terror laws brought in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Believed to be one of the chief architects of the president's expanded powers, Gonzales is also credited with redefining the word "torture" in interrogating terror suspects and with the US refusal to apply the Geneva Convention to such prisoners.