Comments about Gonzales' resignation

McClatchy NewspapersAugust 27, 2007 

Comments Monday on the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

Gonzales: "I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days."

President Bush: "Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. And I have reluctantly accepted his resignation. . . . (H)is good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee: " "Under this attorney general and this president, the Department of Justice suffered a severe crisis of leadership that allowed our justice system to be corrupted by political influence. . . . The obligations of the Justice Department and its leaders are to the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people, not to the political considerations of this or any White House."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "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."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky: " I thank Alberto Gonzales for his public service and wish him well in his future endeavors. 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."

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee: "If the power of the prosecutor has been misused in the name of partisanship, we deserve a full airing of the facts. The responsibility to uncover these facts is still on the Congress."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: "Under this attorney general, sadly, the Department of Justice has less credibility than FEMA."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah: "Alberto Gonzales has been the president's strong right arm in fighting terrorists using the tools of law enforcement, and he helped successfully protect the American homeland during his tenure. Beyond that, he has overseen the Department of Justice's efforts to protect children from Internet predators, to combat human trafficking and to prevent the spread of meth in our communities. I hope that history will remember Attorney General Gonzales for his honorable service to his country, rather than for the absurd political theater to which some critics have subjected him."

Bud Cummins, one of nine ousted U.S. attorneys: "I assume it's a collective judgment on his part and the president's part that his credibility is such that he just can't perform the mission. The bottom line is that he's not able to lead the Department of Justice."

Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Gonzales' resignation doesn't put an end to the widespread abuse of executive powers. The White House may claim that Gonzales' resignation restores the rule of law, but if anything his departure highlights the need for increased scrutiny and accountability."

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.: "(T)he man who oversaw a political purge of U.S. attorneys at the Justice Department, approved torture techniques at Guantanamo Bay and approved illegal spying on Americans has stepped down — this is a victory for all of us."

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian advocacy group: "Alberto Gonzales' work as White House counsel filling judicial vacancies with qualified nominees who respect the Constitution will have a lasting effect in bringing integrity back to our courts. His example, coming from humble beginnings as one of eight children and as the son of migrant workers to becoming U.S. attorney general, should inspire others to achieve the American dream."

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.: "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took an oath to uphold our Constitution and respect the rule of law, but time and time again 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. In his actions and inaction, from warrantless wiretaps to the firing of U.S. attorneys, his loyalty was to the president, not the American people."

Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Republican Conference: "The Department of Justice now has the opportunity to benefit from fresh leadership. The Congress will soon take up debate on permanently modernizing our intelligence-gathering laws. A new attorney general should have the necessary credibility on Capitol Hill to give our intelligence and law enforcement communities the tools they need to intercept terrorist communications and stop attacks before they happen."

McClatchy Newspapers 2007

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