Monday, July 28, 2008

Inspector General Finds Hiring Violations at Dept. of Justice

The U.S Attorney hiring and firing scandal took an important twist today, with the Office of the Inspector General issuing a report that found that Republican National Committee lawyer, White House liason to the DOJ, and Alberto Gonzales aide Monica Goodling systematically screened candidates for positions at the DOJ for their political leanings, effectively trying to turn the DOJ into a Republicans-only club. This included screening for political appointees as well as non-political appointees, like immigration judges. You can read the report here. How very illegal of you, Ms. Goodling.

While this is a concrete demonstration of how bad things got at the DOJ under Gonzales, and certainly a blow for the lame-duck Bush Administration, I think the Administration and Gonzales lost this one in the Court of Public Opinion a long, long time ago. Their denials didn't pass the straight face test, as my former Tax prof would say.

But the most surprising thing about this, if anything can surprise you with these folks nowadays, is how outrightly obvious these people were. Part of Goodling's approach would be to interview everyone, necessary or not. In the interviews, the Inspector General report says she'd ask questions so obviously political, right down to the "why are you proud to be a Republican" question, that it's shocking that her cover wasn't blown until now.

So, my immediate question to you is this: were the Democrats completely inept here, or complicit? Discussion in the comments thread.


Jack Gonzo, MD said...

I'm not sure they interviewed everyone, though I could be wrong. CityCat's and my old roommate Graduated law school from W&M and had done all the right things that you're supposed to do to get a job @ DoJ, but he didn't cause naturally he didn't fit their "description". Now he works @ the IRS, gonna have to ask if he actually got to an actual interview.

Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe said...

For sure. The article says that they also scoured the internet for whatever traces they could find of a candidate's political leanings, particularly regarding their young attorneys and honors program applicants. I always knew writing so many letters to the editor would limit my chances of getting a sweet job.