Why No Charges For Schlozman?

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January 13, 2009 7:33 a.m.

Given that the DOJ Inspector General’s report found that Bradley Schlozman broke the law in making politicized hiring decisions, and lied about it to Congress, why and how did the US Attorney’s office make the decision to decline to bring criminal charges?

We got a bit more information on that question from Patricia Riley, special counsel to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia, which conducted the investigation.

Riley told TPMmuckraker that her office was only asked by the Inspector General’s office to look into the possible perjury charges stemming from Schlozman’s congressional testimony, rather than the underlying hiring decisions. She said that six career prosecutors, with between 10 and 21 years experience, conducted the investigation, reporting to Assistant US Attorney Channing Phillips (US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor recused himself from the probe).

The investigation continued until last Friday, said Riley, and included interviews with witnesses who were not contacted by the IG’s report. Based on that investigation, a decision was made not to bring criminal charges.

Riley declined to say what specific information uncovered in that probe determined the decision.

We also asked the office of Sen. Pat Leahy, when they first learned that the OIG report had found that Schlozman lied to Leahy’s committee. A spokeswoman responded in an email:

We received this IG report this morning, shortly in advance of the hearing, as is the usual practice of the IG’s office.

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