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Tuesday, November 09, 2004


John Ashcroft Biography
John Ashcroft's biography is available via thefreedictionary.com.

More details are now available on Ashcroft's departure:


Ashcroft and Evans have served all four years of Bush's administration, which has been marked by little turnover. Ashcroft said he would remain until a successor is confirmed, which could take months. Evans said he would stay well into January.

In a five-page, handwritten letter, Ashcroft told Bush, "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. Yet I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration." Ashcroft, who suffered health problems earlier this year and had his gall bladder removed, dated his letter Nov. 2, Election Day....

Ashcroft's critics cheered his departure. "We wish John Ashcroft good health and a good retirement. And we hope the president will choose a less polarizing attorney general as his successor," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, "Mr. Ashcroft's legacy has been an open hostility to protecting civil liberties and an outright disdain for those who dare to question his policies."

Speculation about Ashcroft's successor has centered on his former deputy, Larry Thompson, who recently took a job as general counsel at PepsiCo. If appointed, Thompson would be the nation's first black attorney general. Others prominently mentioned include Bush's 2004 campaign chairman, former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, and White House general counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Bush issued statements of praise for Ashcroft, 62, and Evans, 58, and for the policies they advanced.

"John Ashcroft has worked tirelessly to help make our country safer," the president said. "John has served our nation with honor, distinction, and integrity."...

A preacher's son, former Missouri governor and one-time U.S. senator, Ashcroft was a favorite of the religious conservatives who make up a key part of the Republican political base. At the same time, he has been a lightning rod for criticism of his handling of the U.S. end of the war against terror, especially the detention of terror suspects....

White House officials said neither Ashcroft nor Evans was asked to leave....


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