If it’s not anarchism ruining an applicant’s chances at the Justice Department, it’s a love of wolves.
An email conversation between two former DOJ officials, reviewed by the OIG in the course of its investigation of the politicization of DOJ hiring in the Honors Program, exposes partisan thought processes.
From page 18 of the report (pdf):
. . .[I]n one e-mail exchange [Andrew] Hruska, [then Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General] forwarded an application from a candidate from Montana to William Mercer, then U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana. Hruska asked Mercer if this was “someone we want at DOJ?”
Mercer responded by e-mail that he was inquiring with a reference the candidate listed whom Mercer knew to find out “the scoop on intellect, personality, etc.” Mercer added:
My initial reaction is that the guy is probably quite liberal. He is clerking for a very activist, ATLA-oriented justice. His law review article appears to favor reintroduction of
wolves on federal lands, a very controversial issue here which pits environmentalists against lots of other interests, including virtually all conservative and moderate thinkers.
I know of better candidates through our internship and clerkship programs who have applied to the honors program.
Mercer went on to become the Acting Associate Attorney General, while continuing to serve as a U.S. Attorney in Montana. The double dipping and entanglement with the U.S. Attorney scandal forced him to withdraw his name from consideration for the position and eventually resign from the department.
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