Former number two at the Department of Justice, Bradley Schlozman
, faces off with the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Weâll be watching his testimony closely. In the meantime, hereâs a preview:
Schlozman is known for cherry picking hard-line Republicans for career positions
at the Justice Department as part of the Bush administrationâs aggressive reshaping of the Civil Rights Division
Some of his testimony will likely be similar to what we heard Monica Goodling
recount before the House Judiciary Committee two weeks ago. The former White House liaison to the Justice Department admitted to âcrossing the lineâ in using political criteria to select career lawyers in the department. An internal Justice Department probe is now looking at the issue of political hiring.
Schlozman is also expected to testify to his involvement in the firing of the nine U.S. Attorneys. The firings testimony should be particularly interesting because, as you may recall, Schlozman took over as the U.S. Attorney in Kansas City when Todd Graves
was pushed out in January. Graves had been uncooperative in bringing a voter-fraud lawsuit against the state just before he was asked to leave. A little-known piece of the Patriot Act allowed Schlozman to take over as an indefinite interim U.S. attorney without facing the scrutiny of the confirmation process. Once in place, just days before an election, Schlozman filed highly questionable voter-fraud charges
against four voter registration organizers. The decision was in direct conflict with Justice Department policy not to bring such prosecutions before an election as to avoid a chilling effect on voting.
Schlozman initially put off the committeeâs request for his testimony, due to a planned vacation.
Hopefully heâs well-rested and ready to talk.