U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement in response to the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:
"Alberto Gonzales was not up for the job of U.S. Attorney General, and I am pleased he announced his resignation. I am disappointed the President did not act sooner to preserve the integrity of the Justice Department.
"Gonzales's divisive tenure has been destructive to the interests of our country. Mr. Gonzales pushed to erode privacy rights through warrantless wiretapping. He was deeply involved in the politically motivated firings of qualified U.S. attorneys. When he testified before Congress on these and other matters, he gave inconsistent testimony and offered no satisfactory explanations for apparent contradictions of himself and other senior officials. His actions undermined Americans' confidence in their Justice Department.
"Ultimately, however, the responsibility for the actions of senior administration officials rests with the President of the United States. I urge President Bush to choose a nominee for this post with the highest integrity and a commitment to the protection of the rights of U.S. citizens."