Guest-blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review
U.S. Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales has resigned.
Word of the resignation, which was submitted to George W. Bush last Friday has been leaked to the press, apparently by officials at Bush's vacation home in Texas:
Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Attorney General's resignation had not yet been made public.
In a series of congressional hearings earlier this year, Gonzales appeared to have perjured himself on multiple occasions. His dissembling and supposedly poor memory about his own actions related to the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and on other matters outraged members of Congress in both parties, some of whom were reportedly considering a move to impeach him this fall.
During a press conference earlier this month, Bush dismissed the idea of firing Gonzales, charging that Congress had found no wrong-doing. "Why would I hold someone accountable whose done nothing wrong?" Bush asked in response to a reporter's question.
Speaking of impeachment, early speculation suggests Bush might nominate DHS Sec. Michael Chertoff, a former judge, as Gonzales's replacement. Chertoff first achieved national notoriety by appearing on cable shows as a virulent anti-Clinton, pro-impeachment talking head in the 1990s. His chief qualification to be attorney general is his status as one of a very few loyal Bush cronies who has won Senate approval in the recent past and therefore could win approval now.
Another name in the mix earlier this year was that of former Bush solicitor general Ted Olson. Olson has even closer ties to the right-wing conspiracies a decade ago. A longtime friend of Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr, Olson served as the de facto chief operating officer of the Arkansas Project, a smear campaign against the Clintons that was funded by Pittsburgh millionaire Richard Melon Scaiffe and was operated out of the offices of the American Spectator magazine. Olson also successfully argued Bush v. Gore at the Supreme Court, for which he was rewarded with the post of solicitor general.
UPDATE: Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman turned MSNBC commentator, said of Gonzales moments ago on the cable news channel that Gonzales "has done a terrible job. His position was based on loyalty, not on competence."
"The question is," Scarborough said, "will this president have the courage to appoint someone [to replace him] based on integrity and competence, rather than loyalty."