Raw Data: Ashcroft's Letter of Resignation

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Text of the resignation letter, dated Nov. 2 and released Tuesday, from Attorney General John Ashcroft to President Bush:

Dear Mr. President:

Nothing in my life compares to the high honor of serving America as Attorney General in your administration.

The cause of justice is indeed a serious calling. Americans have been spared the violence and savagery of terrorist attack on our soil since September 11, 2001.

During the last four years our violent crime rate has plunged to a 30-year low. Under your "Project Safe Neighborhoods" the number of gun crimes has fallen to its lowest level in modern history. Drug use among America's young people has fallen and continues to fall significantly.

Corporate integrity has been restored with the work of your Corporate Fraud Task Force. As a result United States markets have reinforced their position as the trusted allocators of the world's capital resources.

Thank you for your leadership which has made these and many other justice-related achievements possible.

The demands of justice are both rewarding and depleting. I take great personal satisfaction in the record which has been developed. The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. The rule of law has been strengthened and upheld in the courts. Yet, I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served by new leadership and fresh inspiration. I believe that my energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons.

Therefore, I humbly state my desire to resign from the office of United States Attorney General.

It would be my pleasure to structure the announcement of this resignation and the ensuing transition in conjunction with you so that your administration and the cause of justice are served optimally.

I have handwritten this letter so its confidentiality can be maintained until the appropriate arrangements mentioned above can be made.

I am grateful to you for the profound honor of serving under your clear, principled leadership.

May God continue to bless, guide, and direct you and your family as you lead America forward in freedom.

Most Sincerely,

John Ashcroft