In 2005, then-Senator Obama had some pretty strong ideas about what the Attorney General’s duties were. Speaking on the Senate floor during the nomination confirmation of President George W. Bush’s Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales, Obama explained why he opposed the nomination.
“The Attorney General’s job is not just to enforce the President’s laws it is to tell the President what the law is. The job is not simply to facilitate the President’s power, it is to speak truth to that power as well,” Obama stated during the hearing.
“The President is not the Attorney General’s client; the people are,” Obama added. “And so the true test of an Attorney General nominee is whether that person is ready to put the Constitution of the people before the political agenda of the President.”