Monday, August 27

AG Gonzales Resignation "Greatest Hits"

Side 1:

``I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days.'' - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

``Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. ...After months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision. It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.'' - President George W. Bush.

Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell: "I thank Alberto Gonzales for his public service and wish him well in his future endeavors," he said. "It is my hope that whomever President Bush selects as the next Attorney General, he or she is not subjected to the same poisonous partisanship that we’ve sadly grown accustomed to over the past eight months."

``The life of Alberto Gonzales has been defined by his devotion to family and deep commitment to public service. ... I appreciate his hard work in defense of our country and look forward to his future contributions.'' - House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.

``I wish him and his family all the best as they enter the next stage of their lives. The work of the Justice Department is indispensable to our global war on terrorism, and as we move forward, I trust that the next attorney general will continue an aggressive approach against those who aim to harm our nation.'' - House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Side 2:

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: "Better late than never."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: "The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is long overdue. The President must nominate an Attorney General who is a lawyer for the American people not a political arm of the White House."

Sen. Barack Obama: "I have long believed that Alberto Gonzales subverted justice to promote a political agenda, and so I am pleased that he has finally resigned today. The president needs to nominate an Attorney General who will be the people's lawyer, not the President's lawyer, and in an Obama Administration that person will first and foremost defend and promote the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution."

``He demonstrated that his loyalties lie with the president and his political agenda, not the American people or the evenhanded and impartial enforcement of our laws. ... My hope is that the president will select a new attorney general who will respect the rule of law and abandon partisanship, who will serve the American people and not the president's political ideology, and who will answer to the Constitution and not political operatives.'' - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

``The rampant politicization of federal law enforcement that occurred under his tenure seriously eroded public confidence in our justice system. The president must now restore credibility to the office of the Attorney General.'' - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Rep. John Lewis D-GA:"It was time for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to go. His credibility was at an all time low. He had refused to cooperate with the U.S. Congress and members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees who were exercising their constitutional duty to seek the truth.

Rep. Rahm Emmanual D-IL: “Alberto Gonzales is the first Attorney General who thought the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth were three different things."

Sen. Chris Dodd: "Mr. Gonzales' Justice Department became a political wing of the Bush Administration and his resignation is long overdue. I will only vote to confirm a nominee for Attorney General who is truly independent and who will guarantee reforms that restore and uphold the Constitution."

Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid: "Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove," he said. "This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House."

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-MA: “The resignation of the Attorney General is long overdue. I opposed his confirmation because he came before the Senate as an enabler of the President’s misguided legal policies rather than as an independent legal voice. He had played a central role in authorizing the use of torture against detainees and other deprivations of civil liberties. Since his confirmation, he has presided over one disastrous policy after another, including the continued abuse of detainees, the approval of unlawful wiretapping by the NSA, the partisan enforcement of the voting Rights Act and the failure to enforce our other civil rights laws, the abusive use of National Security Letters and the inappropriate firing of U.S. Attorneys. He has exhibited a lack of candor with Congress and the American people and a disdain for the rule of law and our constitutional system. I strongly urge President Bush to nominate a new Attorney General who will respect our laws and restore the integrity of the office. The Attorney General should be the nation's chief law enforcement officer, not an agent of the Administration's political agenda."

Statement of Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA: “It is my hope that the Attorney General’s resignation will signal the beginning of a real change in the Department of Justice. This is an important step, and I hope the President moves rapidly to fill this position, since so many of the top-level people at the Department have in fact resigned. I spoke with the White House this morning, and suggested a couple of nominees who I believe would easily gain confirmation. With the right person in place, a very distressing chapter in the Justice Department’s history can be closed and the process of restoring its credibility as a strong and independent department can begin.”

``Attorney General Gonzales' ability to lead the Department of Justice had been undermined by his serious errors in judgment and conflicting statements. I am hopeful that the President will name a strong successor who will begin to restore confidence in the department.'' - Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

``I have said for a long time that I thought the president would be best served if the attorney general resigned so I think it's the right thing to do.'' - Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Republican presidential candidate.

``This is a great, great development. ...The next attorney general has to understand that his primary loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law and that sometimes he has to tell the president no.'' -Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico, one of the fired U.S. prosecutors.

``It is a good thing for the Department of Justice and it's an opportunity for those career professionals to begin to focus on what is important, and that is the administration of justice.'' - Fired Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton.

``There comes a time when if you don't have the respect of the Congress and the American public and your own people in the department then it's time to step down.'' - Fired Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden.

``I don't think he would have ever had to resign until they were able to hang the U.S. attorneys' firings around his neck ... To me, it could all be written off to miscommunication and bad judgment and probably could have been forgiven until they made a conscious decision to be willing to throw some of the U.S. attorneys under the bus.'' - Fired Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins.

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