Inspector General Releases Report on Monica Goodling Hirings

The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility released another part of their investigation into the politicization of the DOJ. The full report, “An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General,” can be found here (pdf).

We’ll be reading through and posting on this all day. But at first glance here’s a quite relevant section:

In sum, we concluded that the evidence showed that Goodling violated both federal law and Department policy, and therefore committed misconduct, when she considered political or ideological affiliations in hiring decisions for candidates for career positions within the Department. In particular, the evidence showed that she considered political or ideological affiliations in deciding several waiver requests from interim U.S. Attorneys, in promoting several candidates for career positions, and in disapproving a candidate for an EOUSA career SES position.

Late update: Here are the names of other implicated in the report:
former Chief of Staff to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Kyle Sampson; Goodling’s predecessor, former White House Liason Jan Williams, and EOUSA (Executive Office for United States Attorneys) Director John Nowacki– who is still at the department. The report states that Nowacki knew of the politicization of the DOJ but drafted a press statement saying otherwise. Of Sampson, Williams and Goodling the report states:

In sum, the evidence showed that Sampson, Williams, and Goodling violated federal law and Department policy, and Sampson and Goodling committed misconduct, by considering political and ideological affiliations in soliciting and selecting IJs [immigration judges], which are career positions protected by the civil service laws.

Late late update: Attorney General Michael Mukasey released a statement saying he is “of course disturbed” by the findings of the OIG report:

I have said many times, both to members of the public and to Department employees, it is neither permissible nor acceptable to consider political affiliations in the hiring of career Department employees. And I have acted, and will continue to act, to ensure that my words are translated into reality so that the conduct described in this report does not occur again at the Department.

Over the course of the last year and a half, the Justice Department has made many institutional changes to remedy the problems discussed in today’s report, and the report itself commends these changes. The report includes one new recommendation for institutional change, and I have directed the prompt implementation of that recommendation. It is crucial that the American people have confidence in the propriety of what we do and how we do it, and I will continue my efforts to make certain they can have such confidence.

Late late late update: The report also investigates whether officials (namely Williams, Goodling and Nowacki) gave “inaccurate or misleading” information to investigators, attorneys in civil-suits, and higher-ups at the DOJ.

Late late late late update: We think it’s important to note that the former Attorney Generals Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft, who presided over the DOJ through all of this, were not implicated in the report.

The report also details some of the questions Goodling used for her interviews, here’s a pithy little excerpt:

Tell us about your political philosophy. There are different groups of conservatives, by way of example: Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.

[W]hat is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?

Aside from the President, give us an example of someone currently or recently in public service who you admire.

And our personal favorite:

Why are you a Republican?

Of the Goodling and Angela Williamson (the Deputy White House Liason) interviewees, 34 persons said they discussed abortion, and 21 said they discussed gay marriage.

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