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White House considering five names in Gonzales replacement search

[JURIST] The White House has compiled a list of the top five candidates to replace US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] as head of the Department of Justice, an anonymous White House official told AP Tuesday. According to the official, the Bush administration has spoken with over 20 congressional leaders on both sides of the party line about potential candidates for the position. It is unlikely, however, that a successor will be named before September 9, when Bush returns from an official visit to Australia.

Gonzales announced his resignation [letter, PDF; JURIST report] Monday, saying that it will take effect on September 17 [JURIST report]. His resignation follows months of controversy over the Justice Department's handling of the firings of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive] and subsequent allegations that he may have perjured himself [JURIST report] in testimony before Congress. Current Solicitor General Paul Clement [official profile] will serve as acting attorney general after Gonzales leaves the Justice Department until the Senate confirms a new permanent attorney general. AP has more.

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