When the resignation of Alberto Gonzales takes effect, Solicitor General Paul Clement will be the senior Justice Department official and the acting Attorney General. I really don’t know too much about him.
I know that he is the person to whom the congressional calls for an independent prosecutor on the US Attorney scandal have been addressed, Gonzales having recused himself. The sense I get is that he is fairly well-respected and, to the extent that is possible in this administration, independent of the White House.
So, what do people think of Paul Clement? How do we think his leadership of the Justice Department will be, particularly in light of the cloud hanging over its head?
Although others closer to the White House, including Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff have been discussed as possible successors to Gonzales, does Clement have a chance to get the job outright, either as Bush’s initial nominee or after others have struck out?