Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, The New York Times reported this morning. Gonzales had resisted calls to step down as critics accused him of lying to Congress over the politically tinged firings of federal prosecutors. President Bush had supported Gonzales, and accepted his resignation grudgingly, said a Justice Department official. “The unfair treatment that he’s been on the receiving end of has been a distraction for the department,” the official said.

It’s doubtbul that Bush was all that hesitant to let Gonzales go, said DailyKos. This will take a little heat off the administration. “A replacement hasn’t been named, but we’ll soon find out if the rumors about (Homeland Security Secretary) Michael Chertoff are true.”

“Why Chertoff?” said Paul Bernard on U.S. News and World Report online. “Officials say he’s got fans on Capitol Hill, is untouched by the Justice prosecutor scandal, and has more experience than Gonzales did, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general.”

Bush will have to choose Gonzales’ replacement carefully, said Mark Silva in Tribune’s The Swamp blog. The person he nominates will have to be someone who can both win confirmation from a Democrat-controlled Senate and “restore confidence in a Justice Department that has been rocked by political controversy.”