Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation today, ending a controversial tenure that included clashes with Congress over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and over the use of warrantless wiretaps in the war on terror, reports the Washington Post. The first Hispanic to hold the job, Gonzales will step down on Sept. 17. He called his 13 years in public service a “remarkable journey,” but he gave no explanation about why he chose to resign now after resisting months of pressure to quit.
Bush appointed Solicitor General Paul Clement to serve as acting attorney general after Gonzales steps down. One official who spoke anonymously cautioned about the possible selection of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “If you nominate Chertoff, then you have two confirmation hearings on your hands,” the official said. Gonzales, 52, concluded that he had “lived the American dream.”