Senate Dems Ask AG Mukasey to “Assess Damage” to DOJ

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August 1, 2008 12:35 p.m.

On the heels of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning on Wednesday of Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine, and the two recently released OIG reports, seven Democratic members of the committee have requested that Attorney General Michael Mukasey review the damage done to the DOJ by the illegal hiring practices.

Signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), the letter requests an assessment on the “long-term damage” done to the Department:

We are concerned that the people hired into important career positions throughout the Department using the unlawful, politicized process described in the reports remain in place. This raises the troubling possibility that those positions are held by unqualified, partisan individuals. With this possibility extant, we believe it is inadequate for the Department simply to commit to discontinue the bad practices. There may be continuing consequences of the widespread illegal hiring process. We urge you to ensure that the people put in place via this illegal process meet the Department’s high standard of qualifications, and do not undermine the Department’s independence and ability to enforce the law without fear or favor.

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