Alberto R Gonzales was born on August 4,1955 and is an American lawyer who served as the 80th United States Attorney General from 2005 to 2007 and is the highest-ranking Hispanic American in executive government to date.
82 Facts About Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales previously served as Secretary of State of Texas, as a Texas Supreme Court Justice, and as White House Counsel, becoming the first Hispanic to hold that office.
Alberto Gonzales had presided over the firings of several US Attorneys who had refused back-channel White House directives to prosecute political enemies, allegedly causing the office of Attorney General to become improperly politicized.
Alberto Gonzales is currently the Dean of Belmont University College of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches National Security Law.
Alberto Gonzales often writes opinion pieces for national newspapers and appears on national news programs.
Alberto Gonzales was born to a Catholic family in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in Humble, Texas, a town outside of Houston.
Alberto Gonzales's father, who died in 1982, was a migrant worker and then a construction worker with a second grade education.
Alberto Gonzales's mother worked at home raising eight children and had a sixth grade education.
An honors student at MacArthur High School in unincorporated Harris County, Alberto Gonzales enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1973, for a four-year term of enlistment.
Alberto Gonzales served one year at a remote radar site with 100 other GIs at Fort Yukon, Alaska.
Alberto Gonzales was then released from active duty to attend the USAFA Prep School after which he received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
Alberto Gonzales transferred to Rice University in Houston, where he was a resident of Lovett College.
Alberto Gonzales went on to be selected as the Charles Parkhill Scholar of Political Science and was awarded a bachelor's degree with honors in political science in 1979.
Alberto Gonzales has been married twice: he and his first wife, Diane Clemens, divorced in 1985; he and his second wife, Rebecca Turner Alberto Gonzales, have three sons.
Alberto Gonzales won his election bid to remain on the court in the Republican Primary in 2000, and was elected to a full six-year term on the State Supreme Court in the November 2000 general election.
Alberto Gonzales has been active in the community, serving as board director or committee member for several non-profit organizations between 1985 and 1994.
Alberto Gonzales has received numerous professional awards, including the Presidential Citation from the State Bar of Texas in 1997 in claimed recognition of his dedication to addressing basic legal needs of the indigent.
In 2004, Alberto Gonzales was given the Exemplary Leader Award by the Houston American Leadership Forum.
Alberto Gonzales was named Hispanic American of the Year by Hispanic magazine in 2005 and one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Time magazine.
Alberto Gonzales was inducted into the Class of 2005 in the American Academy of Achievement.
Alberto Gonzales received the Distinguished Leadership Award in 2006 from Leadership Houston.
Alberto Gonzales received an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2002 from The Catholic University of America; an Honorary Degree in Arts and Letters in 2003 from Miami-Dade Community College; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in 2005 from the University of District of Columbia; an Honorary Degree in Associate of Arts in 2005 from the Houston Community College System; and an Honorary Alumnus Award in 2007 from Southern Methodist University.
Alberto Gonzales made no formal request for Bush to be excused from jury duty but raised a possible conflict of interest because as the Governor, Bush might be called upon to pardon the accused party.
Alberto Gonzales approved the legal framework for the administration's anti-terrorism efforts and was a reliable advocate for White House policy.
Alberto Gonzales supported positions that enlarged the power of the executive and diminished protections for interrogation subjects.
Alberto Gonzales resigned following sharp criticism of his handling of the firing of nine US attorneys and subsequent testimony during congressional hearings.
In January 2002, Alberto Gonzales authored a memo that explored whether the Geneva Convention section III on the Treatment of Prisoners of War applied to Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan and held in detention facilities around the world, including Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Alberto Gonzales argued that existing military regulations and instructions from the President were more than adequate to ensure that the principles of the Geneva Convention would be applied.
Alberto Gonzales expressed a concern that undefined language in Common Article III of GPW, such as "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" could make officials and military leaders subject to the War Crimes Act of 1996 if actions were deemed to constitute violations of the Act.
In May 2005, three months after Gonzales became attorney general, Steven G Bradbury of the Office of Legal Counsel issued a pair of classified opinions that, for the first time, provided Central Intelligence Agency explicit authorization to apply to terror suspects a variety of painful physical and psychological interrogation methods, either alone or in combination.
Alberto Gonzales served as a general counsel when Bush was the governor of Texas.
Executive Order 13233, drafted by Gonzales and issued by President George W Bush on November 1,2001, shortly after the September 11,2001 attacks, attempted to place limitations on the Freedom of Information Act by restricting access to the records of former presidents.
Alberto Gonzales's name was sometimes floated as a possible nominee to the United States Supreme Court during Bush's first presidential term.
Alberto Gonzales was regarded as a moderate compared to Ashcroft because he was not seen as opposing abortion or affirmative action.
The perceived departure from some conservative viewpoints elicited strong opposition to Alberto Gonzales that started during his Senate confirmation proceedings at the beginning of President Bush's second term.
The New York Times quoted anonymous Republican officials as saying that Alberto Gonzales's appointment to attorney general was a way to "bolster Mr Alberto Gonzales's credentials" en route to a later Supreme Court appointment.
Alberto Gonzales enjoyed broad bipartisan support in connection with his nomination, including the support of former Democratic HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Colorado Democratic Senator Ken Salazar.
For Judge Alberto Gonzales, that is a very high altitude indeed.
Alberto Gonzales helped draft the January 2002 Presidential Order that authorized the use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects.
On January 18,2007, Alberto Gonzales was invited to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he shocked the committee's ranking member, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, with statements regarding the right of habeas corpus in the United States Constitution.
Alberto Gonzales testified under oath that EARS evaluations do not necessarily reflect on the US Attorney.
ABC News obtained an internal department email showing that Alberto Gonzales urged the ouster of Carol Lam, one of the fired attorneys, six months before she was asked to leave.
One example of such frustration came in an exchange between Sessions and Alberto Gonzales regarding a November 2006 meeting.
At the meeting, the attorney firings were purportedly discussed, but Alberto Gonzales did not remember such discussion.
Alberto Gonzales responded that the onus was on the committee to prove whether anything improper occurred.
Schumer replied that Alberto Gonzales faced a higher standard, and that under this standard he had to give "a full, complete and convincing explanation" for why the eight attorneys were fired.
The report did not conclude that Alberto Gonzales deliberately provided false information.
Alberto Gonzales acknowledged from the outset his misstatements, accepted responsibility, and attempted to set the record straight well before congressional testimony on April 19,2007.
Alberto Gonzales testified 18 months before the IG reports that statements he made at the March 13,2007, press conference were misstatements and were overboard.
Further, in his written statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, presented April 19,2007, Alberto Gonzales wrote: "I misspoke at a press conference on March 13th when I said that I "was not involved in any discussions about what was going on.
Alberto Gonzales was an early advocate of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on October 26,2001.
Alberto Gonzales raised the possibility that The New York Times journalists could be prosecuted for publishing classified information based on the outcome of the criminal investigation underway into leaks to the Times of data about the National Security Agency's surveillance of terrorist-related calls between the United States and abroad.
The Bush Administration and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales believed that OPR did not have the authority to investigate Alberto Gonzales's role as White House Counsel in connection with certain intelligence activities authorized by the President.
Indeed, prior to the 2007 letter, Alberto Gonzales provided the same definition of TSP in several public appearances leading up to a hearing in Congress on February 6,2006.
The controversy over these conflicting statements led Senator Charles Schumer to request appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate if Alberto Gonzales had committed perjury.
In walked Mr Alberto Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr Card.
Alberto Gonzales actually gave a two-minute speech, and I was sure at the end of it he was going to die.
Alberto Gonzales had no idea what we were discussing, but this sweet-looking woman sticking out her tongue was the ultimate expression of disapproval.
Alberto Gonzales appeared to contradict the earlier statements made by James Comey regarding the hospital room meeting with John Ashcroft.
On July 26,2007, a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement, Senators Charles Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Russ Feingold and Sheldon Whitehouse urged that an independent counsel be appointed to investigate whether Alberto Gonzales had perjured himself in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the previous day.
On July 27,2007, both White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended Gonzales's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony regarding the events of March 10,2004, saying that it did not contradict the sworn House Judiciary Committee account of FBI director Robert S Mueller III, because Gonzales had been constrained in what he could say because there was a danger he would divulge classified material.
Alberto Gonzales refers to it as "other intelligence activities" because it is, in fact, still classified.
Alberto Gonzales ordered full cooperation by all Department of Justice employees with ongoing investigations.
On Thursday, August 30,2007, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A Fine disclosed in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that as part of a previously ongoing investigation, his office is looking into whether Gonzales made statements to Congress that were "intentionally false, misleading, or inappropriate," both about the firing of federal prosecutors and about the terrorist-surveillance program, as committee chairman Patrick Leahy had asked him to do in an August 16,2007, letter.
Fine concluded his investigation and found that Alberto Gonzales did not intend to mislead Congress.
The Department of Justice Inspector General recognized that Alberto Gonzales was in the difficult position of testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a highly classified program in an open forum.
Shortly before the July 1,2005, retirement announcement of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sandra Day O'Connor, rumors started circulating that a memo had leaked from the White House stating that upon the retirement of either O'Connor or Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, that Alberto Gonzales would be the first nominee for a vacancy on the Court.
Alberto Gonzales's opinion dealt mostly with how to establish legislative intent.
Bush attributed the resignation to Alberto Gonzales's name having been "dragged through the mud" for "political reasons".
On November 15,2007, The Washington Post reported that supporters of Alberto Gonzales had created a trust fund to help pay for his legal expenses, which were mounting as the Justice Department Inspector General's office continued to investigate whether Alberto Gonzales committed perjury or improperly tampered with a congressional witness.
The Inspector General determined that Alberto Gonzales did not commit perjury or improperly tamper with a congressional witness.
On September 2,2008, the Inspector General found that Alberto Gonzales had stored classified documents in an insecure fashion, at his home and insufficiently secure safes at work.
Alberto Gonzales had a mediation and consulting practice in Austin, TX and taught at Texas Tech beginning in 2009.
In October 2011, Belmont University College of Law announced that Alberto Gonzales would fill the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law.
Alberto Gonzales gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal on December 31,2008, in which he discussed the effect that controversies in his Bush Administration roles had had on his career and public perception.
Alberto Gonzales has given numerous radio interviews on shows such as NPR's Tell Me More, covering such topics as Guantanamo Bay and Supreme Court nominations.
Alberto Gonzales was featured in the 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.
Alberto Gonzales acted as the diversity recruiter for both Texas Tech University and Angelo State University.
Alberto Gonzales began the new job on August 1,2009.
Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance said Alberto Gonzales has generated interest in the University by recruiting outside of Lubbock and through his reputation in the news.
In November 2008 Alberto Gonzales was indicted by a grand jury in Willacy County in Texas.
Alberto Gonzales was accused of stopping an investigation into abuses at the Willacy Detention Center, a federal detention center.