In a phone conversation last December, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty told then-U.S. Attorney for Nevada Daniel Bogden that Bogden's performance "did not enter into the equation" as a reason for his firing.
That's at odds with what McNulty told the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath in February -- that Bogden and others had been fired for "performance related" reasons.
The account of the phone conversation comes from Bogden himself, in written answers to questions from the House Judiciary Committee. The committee will release correspondence with Bogden and others today.Remember
that McNulty had written in an email two days before the firings that he was "skittish" about firing Bogden -- a concern that was apparently allayed by a 90 second meeting during which McNulty and others decided that it wasn't so bad to fire him since Bogden is a bachelor and has only himself to feed.
Monica Goodling and other Justice Department officials subsequently joined in a brainstorming session
to figure out just what performance related issues had led to Bogden's firing.
There are some other telling details in Bogden's account of his conversation with McNulty (posted in its entirety below). McNulty told Bogden that he'd had only "limited input" in the firing process. That further confirms McNulty's minimal role in the firings -- even though the deputy attorney general is traditionally the senior official to oversee the U.S. attorneys at the Justice Department. McNulty reportedly
told congressional investigators last week that he wasn't responsible for adding a single name to the firing list.
McNulty also told Bogden that the decision for the firing came from "higher up." If that's a reference to the attorney general, well, we know that's at best partly true. If it's a reference to the White House, then it's a shame that McNulty didn't say more.
More soon. Update
: You can read Bogden's full Q&A here
Bogden on his convesration with McNulty:
Our telephone conversation was relatively short as DAG McNulty had to attend a recital or some family event that evening with one of his children. In the telephone conversation, he alluded to the fact that the decision had come from âhigher upâand he made reference to the fact that although he had some input as DAG in the decision process, it seemed to me from his comments that the ultimate decision did not come from him. He stated words to the effect that although he was present during the decision process, he only had âlimited inputâ in the final decision process. I did specifically ask DAG McNulty during that telephone conversation if the call requesting me to step down had â. . . anything to do with my performance or the performance of my office.â His response to me was â â. . . that did not enter into the equation.â I was given no more specifics, details or information from DAG McNulty as to the reasons for the decision. Due to his having to be somewhere that evening, we ended the conversation. It was a cordial conversation and he stated that he had no problem with me calling him back to discuss the matter further.