Posted Jun 25, 2007 02:54 pm CDT
The Justice Department’s acting associate attorney general has withdrawn his nomination for the permanent job.
William Mercer said in a letter that he will return to his regular duties as U.S. Attorney in Montana, citing opposition to his nomination, the Washington Post reports. Mercer has been criticized for splitting his time between the two jobs.
“I have concluded that it is highly unlikely that both the Judiciary Committee and the Senate will take prompt action on my nomination in the near term, if ever,” he wrote in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Mercer is the sixth Justice Department official to leave in the midst of controversy over the firings of at least eight U.S. attorneys.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., commented on the exodus of officials. “The attorney general is running out of fall guys,” he told the Post.