U.S. Attorney General Gonzales resigns

James Heggen

The resignation of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was announced Monday, and some in the ISU community reacted to the announcement.

Solicitor General Paul Clement will replace Gonzales as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is found.

Tyler Platt, vice president of the ISU Democrats and sophomore in engineering, said he was surprised at the announcement of Gonzales’ resignation because President Bush and Gonzales both talked as if he would stay on.

“In all honesty, it was really long overdue in my opinion,” he said.

Jim Hutter, associate professor of political science, had a similar reaction to Platt.

“I guess my first reaction was, ‘Why did it take so long?'” he said. “It’s been a long time since any cabinet member of any administration has been under more fire and criticism than Gonzales without resigning.”

Stephanie Lichter, chairwoman of the ISU College Republicans and junior in political science, was expecting the decision.

“Honestly, I wasn’t that surprised,” she said. “They’ve asked for it on both sides and I figured he would step down.”

Platt said he thought the resignation was overdue because he did not think Gonzales performed well as attorney general.

“Basically you have an attorney general that did not respect the law,” he said. “For instance, he didn’t think the Geneva Convention applied to terrorists.”

The fact that Gonzales supported the warrentless wiretapping program was another reason Platt said his resignation was overdue.

Platt also said that he had a problem with the firing of several U.S. attorneys in 2006.

“The fact that they were fired isn’t really the big issue. [The big issue is] the fact that no reasons were given and at times, Alberto Gonzales really didn’t seem like he knew what was going on in his own department,” he said.

He said it was an instance where “he’s either lying or if he’s not lying he doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s not doing his job.”

Lichter said she thought Gonzales resigned because of the criticism for the wiretapping and the firing of the attorneys.

“I think he did a good job,” Lichter said of Gonzales’ time as attorney general, but declined to expand further.

Although there are currently investigations being conducted, including into the firing of the attorneys, Platt said he didn’t think this would affect those investigations very much.

“What’s probably going to be affected is how much news coverage is given to them now that he’s not going to be there,” he said. “I think it’s probably going to be a little less publicized.”

Lichter said she didn’t think the investigations would be affected either.

“Every administration has fired U.S. attorneys in their time,” she said.

Hutter said he doesn’t think the resignation would affect the investigations.

“I would anticipate the committees go straight ahead,” he said.

– The Associated Press contributed to this article.