August 27th, 2007
12:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Senior admin. officials: Chertoff may get nod

Chertoff may be nominated to succeed Gonzales.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush may nominate Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, senior administration officials told CNN Monday.

Chertoff, 53, previously sat on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which handles appeals from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.

Before becoming a judge, he was assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's criminal division from 2001 to 2003.

Chertoff received his law degree from Harvard University and was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William H. Brennan Jr. in 1979 and 1980. He first stepped into a prosecutorial role as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1983 to 1987.

From there, he moved to the District of New Jersey and was assistant U.S. attorney from 1987 to 1990 and U.S. attorney until 1994.

Between 1994 and 1996, Chertoff was counsel to the GOP Whitewater committee investigating the business dealings of President Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, who is now New York's junior senator and a candidate for president of the United States.

An independent counsel later determined that the Whitewater investigation did not uncover sufficient evidence to warrant any criminal charges against the Clintons.

As a senator, Mrs. Clinton cast the only vote against Chertoff when he was nominated for the appeals court in 2003.

UPDATE: A Senate aide with close connections to the Department of Justice tells CNN's Dana Bash Chertoff will not be the president's choice to replace Gonzales.


Filed under: Alberto Gonzales • Michael Chertoff
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Look at the bright side ... at least Dubya isn't supporting Charles Manson for the post!

    At least not yet anyway.

    August 27, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. capemh, mashpee, ma

    Is someone going to hold a pro-forma session of Congress today to prevent a recess appointment?

    August 27, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Justi, Portland OR

    What a joke. Out with one irresponsible liar, in with another.

    August 27, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. angellou, bristol, ct.

    The made up scandals the Democrats (and liberal in the public) have foisted upon Pres. Bush's administration have been necessary because there has been no perjury to percecute, as in the Clinton admin. There has been no lying under oath; there has been nothing as bad as a senior White House official stuffing national sec. documents down his pants . So those who still haven't gotten over the two-term election of President Bush, have had to come up with unwarranted infractions.

    August 27, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. had enough?

    The Texas Mafia is leaving one by one.

    August 27, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Patrick Kelly, Kansas City, KS

    Not the worst pick in the world. He's the most credible Republican I would accept if I were sitting on the panel who'll confirm him.

    August 27, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. ReadBtwthlins

    Now we know. All judges are to be fired upon entry of a new President, just as Clinton did.

    Its the liberal way..

    August 27, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Patrick Kelly, Kansas City, KS

    In response to the gentlemen from Peabody...I can't believe you would use the immoral and inhumane detention of human beings as the prize on Chertoff's mantle that justifies this nomination. Your lack of conscience and decency is what divides this country sir.

    August 27, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. VanReuter NY NY

    Two textbook examples of, "cognitive dissonance", caused by excessive ingestion of Bush Kool-Aide;

    "Excellent choice. Secretary Chertoff handled the presecution case against Z. Moussaioui in an exemplary way. We need strong leadership to keep our country safe from terrorists.

    Alberto Gonzales was a great representative as well, and showed a strong face of leadership in light of Democrat's repeated "which hunts" to get at anything or anyone connected to the President.
    Posted By Bea, Peabody, N.J. : August 27, 2007 9:31 am"

    Because a President who claims executive privilege, for every member of his staff, clearly has nothing to hide...

    "The made up scandals the Democrats (and liberal in the public) have foisted upon Pres. Bush's administration have been necessary because there has been no perjury to percecute, as in the Clinton admin. There has been no lying under oath; there has been nothing as bad as a senior White House official stuffing national sec. documents down his pants . So those who still haven't gotten over the two-term election of President Bush, have had to come up with unwarranted infractions.
    Posted By angellou, bristol, ct. :August 27, 2007 10:24 am"

    Thank God we haven't wasted EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS, on a special prosecutor for this bunch. It will be fun to add up the jail time those, Unwarranted infractions", accrue for the crooks and liars who hijacked our democracy for the past 61/2 years.

    Who would have thought, back in 2000, that it would take a Clinton to restore integrity to the, "Integrity White house"?

    Van

    August 27, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Raleigh Muns, St. Louis MO

    Congress should still follow up on that pesky perjury thing regarding Gonzales Congressional testimony. Just because he's resigning his position doesn't mean he didn't lie to Congress while under oath.

    Sorry, I should have said "pesky perjury witch hunt." I just got the talking points this morning.

    August 27, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Anonymous, Virginia, USA

    angellou, you forget that Scooter Libbry lied under oath and was convicted of the crime of perjury. Just another signature move from the scumbag Bush administration.

    August 27, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Neocons are liberals??? You sound real smart buddy.

    August 27, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. T.G. , Bergen N.J.

    Instead of discussing issues, why are people name calling and writing in hateful comments. If you don't have anything to offer, I guess you say bad things about others.

    Don't people think that there are issues to discuss as a whole nation of people more important than a Presiential appointee resigning? for example, illegal aliens committing execution-style murders and Islamo-fascist terror camps existing, and going unchecked in the USA? How about health care? Don't people want to work the fact that prescriptions for non-senior adults are priced too high? No, I guess talking about someone's resignation is more pressing and more interesting. Well, that's the American short-attention span thing. Tomorrow we move on to another inane headline.

    August 27, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Bea from NJ

    When you make an outrageous claim about Democrats and "witch hunts" you at the very least need to learn how to spell the word witch.

    August 27, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Kuro, Long Beach CA

    Bush is once again desperately looking for another Yes Man who will do anything and everything he is told to do, with pause or question.

    I hope and pray that Congress looks into this appointment very carefully and actually thinks to ask pertinent questions of this nominee.

    August 27, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Keith, Phoenix, AZ

    Oh, Great! Dumb is being replaced by Dumberer.

    August 27, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. louatime, pompano beach, florida

    I notice from the comments here that no one is responding to the other side. This is where our country is going–one side doesn't hear the other. If you need more on this, watch "God's Warriors".

    August 27, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. C. Baugh, Ft. Walton Beach, FL

    Chertoff! Come on, How is he going to clean up the Justice Dept when he has not done well in the job that he already has? At least he can't blame "Brownie" for getting nominated for this one.

    August 27, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Richard Larson, West Palm Beach, FL

    Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Harriet Meirs, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Karl Rove, Michael Brown, Scooter Libby, and Alberto "I Can't Recall" Gonzalez. It's no wonder that there's such a debate about whether George W. Bush is the worst president ever or only one of the worst ever.

    Will the next on this list be Richard Stickler, the MSHA head that bungled the Utah mine recovery and had been snuck into office by George W. Bush over Democratic and Republican opposition?

    August 27, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Lee, Rochester NY

    Just because you haven't been indicted for a felony doesn't mean you've performed well in office. Gonzales's departure was long overdue, regardless of whether he committed any crimes, because he was an incompetent attorney general who let the Justice Department go to seed. If a Congressional investigation turns up no evidence of criminal misconduct, but overwhelming evidence of professional incompetence and ethically questionable behavior, I see no need to let that slide just because it's not a crime to be bad at your job. I'm glad Congress brought pressure to bear on this.
    As for his potential replacement, Chertoff has done absolutely nothing in his current position to merit the nomination, and plenty that calls into question his ability to handle this (or any other) cabinet position. Which is about right for a Bush nominee.

    August 27, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Madhu Sudan Vashist, Spring, TX

    Nothing new here, desperate damage control by loosing empire.

    August 27, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. Buzz

    I am afraid that "Skeletor Chertoff" will be little better than Gonzales. We need an Attorney General who will put "Justice" back in the Justice Department!

    August 27, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Marcia,New Jersey

    Bush was supposedly surprised by Gonzales' resignation, yet he came up with a replacement almost immediately. Interesting.

    August 27, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Blanca DeBree, Fond du Lac, WI

    If Katrina is any indication, I believe our beloved Commander Guy has truly outdone himself and found the perfect replacement for Gonzales.

    August 27, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. jim anderson asheville nc

    another bush moron? no no no remember Katrina....

    August 27, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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