As the storm broke (from Bloomberg
A former U.S. Justice Department official and central figure in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys tearfully told a colleague two months ago her government career probably was over as the matter was about to erupt into a political storm, according to closed-door congressional testimony.
Monica Goodling, at the time an aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, sobbed for 45 minutes in the office of career Justice Department official David Margolis on March 8 as she related her fears that she would have to quit, according to congressional aides briefed on Margolis's private testimony to House and Senate investigators. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity.
Margolis's description of the emotional scene in his office sheds new light on divisions that were developing in the Justice Department's Washington headquarters as the Democratic-controlled Congress was demanding documents that might show White House involvement in the dismissals.
Another key passage ...
Margolis testified in private that he tried to console Goodling and listened to her discuss her personal life, a congressional aide said. He recalled telling a colleague that he was concerned about Goodling's emotional state, the aide said.
Three hours before Goodling visited his fourth-floor office, Margolis told House and Senate investigators that Sampson dropped by to say he had information Margolis needed to know, one congressional aide said.
Margolis recounted that Sampson read his e-mail exchanges with White House aides that showed the decisions on firing the prosecutors were closely coordinated with members of the president's staff, the aide said.
Margolis recalled that he was stunned to learn the extent of White House involvement in the dismissals, congressional aides said. Margolis testified that preparation for McNulty's Senate testimony -- which took place more than a month before his meetings with Goodling and Sampson -- was based on the assumption that the White House only became involved at the end of the firing process, the aide said.
That must have been quite a conversation. The clique around Gonzales has tried to portray Margolis, a career DOJ lawyer, as tightly involved in the firing decisions. But that story was slowly abandoned as more evidence came out. Late Update
: TPM Reader JM
has a really good question ...
I'm a long-time reader, and I enjoy your digging immensely. Here's a question, though: Did the e-mails that Sampson read to Margolis, detailing some of the White House connections to the firing decisions, appear in any of the DoJ's document dumps? Or can we look forward to these being "newly found" and released in a future dump (now that the committee is aware of their existence)?