Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Alberto Gonzales has announced his resignation, ending a nasty and lengthy standoff over his honesty and competence at the helm of the Justice Department.

In a brief statement this morning, Gonzales described his more than two years leading the Justice Department as one of his "greatest privileges."

He says his resignation takes effect September 17.

Both Republicans and Democrats have called for Gonzales to resign over the botched handling of FBI terror investigations and the firings of U.S. attorneys, but President Bush had defiantly stood by his Texas friend until accepting his resignation Friday.

During the congressional investigation into whether there were political motives in the firing of the attorneys, Democrats repeatedly hinted that Gonzales was lying.

Gonzales maintained the dismissals were based on the prosecutors' lackluster performances.

His likely temporary replacement is Solicitor General Paul Clement.

Gonzales is the fourth top-level Bush administration official to leave since the Democrats were swept into power in Congress in the November elections.