Bush-era Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky, who according to career lawyers politicized DOJ during his time there, now says in a National Review story that it’s the Obama administration that has been playing politics in the nation’s top law enforcement agency.Von Spakovsky says that Robin C. Ashton, the woman who now heads DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, is “petty and juvenile” and “should be disqualified from serving in any career leadership position at Justice, much less the one responsible for enforcing ethical standards.”
Worse, says von Spakovsky, she’s a “hyper-Democratic loyalist” and, he contends, according to “lawyers who worked with her at DOJ,” she’s a “highly political person who was so upset over George Bush’s reelection in 2004 that she angrily vented her frustration to her colleagues in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) — of which she was a deputy director — and made no effort to hide her contempt for President Bush or his administration.”
Funny: that’s almost the exact same complaint that Monica Goodling, another Bush official who politicized the Justice Department, had about Ashton.
The massive hole in von Spakovsky’s use of anonymously-sourced DOJ lawyers in his National Review story is that it’s a safe bet that von Spakovsky himself (or at the very least, a good buddy) got them their jobs in the first place. When he and his close ally Bradley Schlozman handled hiring in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, they hired employees not on their legal credentials but on their Republican political work, according to e-mails Schlozman sent at the time.
It’s important to remember when reading quotes from such anonymous sources that there’s still a large population of lawyers in the Civil Rights Division who were, according to investigations, improperly hired into career positions because of Schlozman (working along with von Spakovsky) and have all the protections that come with it.
Still, von Spakovsky does his best to discredit the OPR report to that effect — which quotes directly from e-mails sent by Bradley Schlozman. The same kind of “liberal ideologues,” writes von Spakovsky, who “inhabit the career ranks of the Civil Rights Division also fill many of the career-attorney slots at OPR.”
“These liberals are behind the report that OPR released on supposedly ‘politicized’ hiring in the Civil Rights Division during the Bush administration — a report filled with inaccuracies, gross exaggerations, and deliberate misrepresentations of both facts and law,” von Spakovsky writes. “The report also brazenly ignored the extensive political hiring that occurred during the Clinton administration — hiring that had gone on at the direction of liberal career managers who sought to surround themselves with ideological soul mates.”
Von Spakovsky will be appearing at an anti-voter fraud event in Texas in March alongside J. Christian Adams, another Scholzman hire who quit DOJ after complaining about the Obama administration’s handling of the New Black Panther Party case.
[Ed. Note: This story was edited after publication.]