“President Bush has accepted the resignation of U.N. Ambassador John Bolton when his recess appointment expires,” CBS News reports.
UPDATE V: Copy of Bolton’s resignation letter here.
UPDATE IV: President Bush releases a statement:
I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate. They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time.
UPDATE III: ABC reports, “Alex Wolff — currently Bolton’s deputy — will serve as acting Ambassador until a successor is named.”
UPDATE II: Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim Walsh (R-NY) have led a push to promote Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) — the top Republican on the House International Relations Committee who lost his House seat in November’s election — as the new U.N. Ambassador.
“He is the most diplomatic politician I have ever met,” [Blumenauer] said of Mr. Leach, a moderate from Iowa known for his professorial sweaters, his low-key, nonpolitical approach to issues, and his opposition to the war in Iraq.
“I can’t think of any American better qualified to represent our interests before the United Nations,” Rep. Jim Walsh, a Republican of New York said. Mr. Walsh yesterday joined Mr. Blumenauer in circulating a letter in the House seeking support for Mr. Leach if the acting U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, is forced to resign.
UPDATE I: Citing White House sources, MSNBC reports that Bolton is expected to leave his position “within a matter of days.”