Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned, the New York Times reports. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday. The decision was not announced until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his Texas ranch.
Bush will not leave the position open long, an official said. U.S. News & World Report said a likely successor was Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Unlike Gonzales, Chertoff is a respected former prosecutor who enjoys good relations in Congress. Bush had repeatedly stood by Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department, over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.