[JURIST] Attorney General John Ashcroft [White House biography] has prepared to step down from his post and said goodbye to members of the Department of Justice, whom he has led for the past four years. A crowd of several hundred gathered Monday to hear Ashcroft speak, and he praised the department members' record during his tenure. Ashcroft has been seen as a divisive figure in Washington, drawing praise from administration members and conservative lawmakers while being targeted by many Democrats. DOJ has a summary of accomplishments [text] over the past four years, as well as other annual performance reports. Ashcroft, a former Missouri governor and senator, has not announced his plans following his departure. He will step down when Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales [JURIST Newsmaker] is confirmed. AP has more.