August 27, 2007 - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation today, ending months of calls that he would step down from the Justice Department over his role in the dismissal of federal prosecutors and role in expanding the power to spy on Americans. Gonzales said he will leave office Sept. 17.
In a news conference this morning, Gonzales did not address the reasons for his resignation, and he refused to answer reporters' shouted questions.
"Even my worst days at Attorney General have been better than my father's best days," said Gonzales, whose parents immigrated to Texas from Mexico before he was born.
Gonzales told President Bush of the resignation Friday and met with the president at his Crawford, Texas, ranch over the weekend, according to the New York Times, which first reported Gonzales's resignation.
Democrats and some Republicans in Congress have made increasingly vocal appeals for Gonzales's resignation over the last several months. He has been accused of misleading House and Senate committees investigating his role in a federal prosecutor firing scandal and the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program.
In an apparent answer to critics who say Gonzales's tenure at Justice has encouraged law enforcement agencies to overstep their constitutional boundaries, Gonzales said Monday that he worked to ensure the "rights and civil liberties of our citizens are protected."
"It's a good day for justice in the United States," David Iglesias, one of the fired US Attorneys, said on MSNBC Monday.
As news of Gonzales' resignation emerged, speculation centered on who would become his replacement for the remaining 17 months of President Bush's term. A top candidate is Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff.