Not long after he was hired as a line attorney at the division's Special Litigation Section, he decided to refer a friend from Stanford to Schlozman. The friend had practiced employment law for several years and Clevenger thought he'd do well at the division, which has an employment litigation section.
But when Schlozman called back, "he wanted to know if [my friend] was a Republican." Clevenger couldn't remember the exact words Schlozman used, but said "it was very clear. It was something like, 'Is he one of us? Is he friendly?'
"I told him that I didn't know that he was actively Republican, I wasn't sure what his political credentials are. That was clearly what Schlozman wanted to know."
Apparently those were the wrong answers. "He didn't get hired. He never even got an interview. He would have been very well qualified. I figured he just wasn't Republican enough."
Schlozman left the Civil Rights Division in March of last year to be installed as the U.S. Attorney for western Missouri. He was appointed shortly after the Patriot Act reauthorization bill was passed -- the bill contained a provision that allowed the attorney general to appoint U.S. attorneys for an indefinite period. He remained in that post for more than a year, a controversial tenure -- Schlozman brought four voter fraud indictments, for instance, just days before the election last year, leading to charges that he was attempting to influence the election. The adminstration finally nominated a permanent replacement in January of this year, just two days before Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Though Schlozman left office only last week, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney Office in western Missouri said that he had not left contact information. Even his home telephone number in Kansas City had been disconnected.
For his part, Clevenger was abruptly terminated from the division on October 5, 2006, little more than a year after he'd joined. The reason? The day before, he'd sent a detailed letter (you can read it here) to the deputy attorney general's office complaining about the "abusive" behavior of his section chief toward attorneys, interns, and others. When he came to work on the 5th, he found that his office had been searched and was soon told that he'd be fired if he did not resign.
Clevenger is currently pursuing a whistleblower action against the division, charging that he was wrongfully terminated.