“I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today,” Jones said in a resignation letter released by the CEQ late Saturday.

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide,” he said.

“I have been inundated with calls — from across the political spectrum — urging me to ‘stay and fight,'” he continued. “But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.