Attorney General Gonzales Resigns

Impeachment Move

After the group of senators called for a perjury investigation, Democrats in the House of Representatives applied their own pressure to the attorney general.

On July 31, a group of seven Democrats, lead by Washington Rep. Jay Inslee, called for the House Judiciary Committee to consider an impeachment resolution. The move, viewed by many on Capitol Hill as a largely symbolic measure, which faced several hurdles.

First, the House Judiciary Committee would have needed to advance the process to the full House for a vote. If a majority of the House would have approved it, the next step would be a Senate trial. At the completion of that trial, the Senate would have had to approve the impeachment by a two-thirds majority.

Gonzales Confirmation

Gonzales replaced Ashcroft as attorney general Feb. 3, 2005, after a 60-36 Senate confirmation vote.

Democrats had raised concerns about his standing on terror policy, based on a memo he wrote while working as White House counsel.

"As White House counsel, Judge Gonzales was at the center of discussions on the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the legality of detention and interrogation methods that have been seen as tantamount to torture," said Leahy, at the January 2005 confirmation hearing.

"He oversaw the formulation of this administration's extreme views of unfettered executive power and unprecedented government secrecy. I hope that things will be different if you are confirmed, Judge Gonzales," Leahy continued.

Bush's Trusted Adviser

Throughout Gonzales' tenure, the White House stood behind its top law official, who has had a long history serving the president.

Gonzales joined then-Governor George Bush's staff in 1994 as general counsel. He became Texas secretary of state in 1997, a position he held until Bush appointed him to the state's Supreme Court in 1999. Gonzales left Texas' high court to take a position as White House counsel at the beginning of Bush's first presidential term in January 2001.

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