Ashcroft leaves cabinet, Bush choose Gonzales

Both Ashcroft and Gonzales draw criticsm
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, a lightning rod for criticism on his enforcement of war-on-terrorism initiatives, submitted his resignation one week after the elections, and President George W. Bush quickly nominated White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, who would be the first Latino to fill the post.

With the departure of Ashcroft, a Pentecostal layman who is a member of the Assemblies of God, Bush loses a cabinet link to conservative Christian groups. But Ashcroft was also a target of progressive religious leaders for the Justice Department’s application of the Patriot Act and what critics said were encroachments on individual privacy and prisoners’ rights.


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