Ashcroft to Resign Before January, Aides Say

Jeff Berg
WASHINGTON — Sources close to Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday that Ashcroft is expected to resign from his post before President George W. Bush’s inauguration in January.

Ashcroft, 62, entered office pledging to use federal obscenity laws to aggressively combat the adult industry but has been criticized over the past year for failing to live up to his promises.

Speculation among adult industry attorneys and free speech activists is that Ashcroft is planning to release amendments to the current 2257 law which will make the record keeping responsibility of webmasters virtually impossible to follow.

Now, Ashcroft aides are saying that the Attorney General is exhausted after fighting the war on terror since the attacks on Sept. 11 and will probably resign before Bush begins his second term, the Associated Press reports.

At a press conference on Thursday, Bush said he wouldn’t begin thinking about possible changes to his cabinet until the coming weekend.

Names mentioned in connection with replacing Ashcroft have included former deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. Thompson left the Justice Department after two years and is now a visiting professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Conservative groups leveled heavy criticism at the Justice Department in June, 2002, when Thompson spoke at a “Gay Pride” forum held at the DOJ.

Other possible replacements for Ashcroft include Bush campaign manager Marc Racicot and White House general counsel Alberto Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is probably best known for writing a 2002 memorandum that described the Geneva Convention as “quaint” in terms of the war on terror.

Racicot was the former Republican National Committee Chairman and a former Montana governor.