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Friday, April 06, 2007
Senior Justice official resigns

Goodling is the second aide to Attorney Gen. Gonzales to resign amidst the U.S. attorney firings controversy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Justice Department official Monica Goodling, who had raised controversy by invoking the 5th Amendment in her refusal to testify before Congress, resigned her job as counselor to the attorney general late Friday.

In a brief letter to Alberto Gonzales, Goodling gave no reason for her resignation but said it was effective April 7th.

"I am hereby submitting my resignation to the Office of the Attorney General, effective April 7, 2007. It has been an honor to have served at the Department of Justice for the past five years," Goodling said.

"May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America," she concluded.

The resignation came suddenly just as the Justice Department was closing for the Easter weekend, and with no warning. The Justice Department declined comment on her resignation.

Hours earlier, officials said she continued in her status of being paid while on regular leave.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement following the resignation, saying, " Attorney Gen. Gonzales's hold on the Department gets more tenuous each day."

-- CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden
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