Alberto Gonzales has resigned as Attorney General. Apparently, he resigned by telephone on Friday, but the WH did not announce the resignation publicly until today. From the NYTimes:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.
Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.
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.
A formal announcement on the resignation is expected later this morning. Sure brings that whole “Gonzales to be replaced by Chertoff” rumor into sharper focus, doesn’t it? More as we get it on this one…
UPDATE: ThinkProgress says that USNews is also floating the Chertoff as replacement rumor.
UPDATE #2: It is worth a reminder on Mr. Chertoff that:
FEMA was unable to fully support the accuracy and completeness of certain unpaid obligations, and accounts payable, and the related effects on net position, if any, prior to the completion of DHS’s 2006 PAR. These unpaid obligations, as reported in the accompanying DHS balance sheet as of September 30, 2006, were $22.3 Billion or 46% of DHS consolidated unexpended appropriations at September 30, 2006. [emphasis mine]
To give some idea of proportionality, in fiscal year 2005 the entire Grants and Training (formerly know as State and Local Government Preparedness, a/k/a grants to get working radios for NYC firemen and protection for bridges, tunnels, chemical plants and nuclear facilities) was only $171 million.
So, follow me here, FEMA has lost and/or failed to account for a sum of money that is almost half of DHS’s entire budget and 130 times greater than the amount of money that the Department of Homeland Security is willing to spend to secure the homeland.
Close to half the budget for DHS, missing and unaccounted for — in any corporation, that would be a fraud investigation of massive proportions. In government, that’s sheer incompetence with your tax dollars. Certainly worth a lot of questions, isn’t it?
UPDATE #3: CNN reporting that the news conference will be held at 10:30 am ET at the DOJ. They also just interviewed Chuck Schumer who was wobbly to cautiously maybe on Chertoff. Gah.