It’s been about two weeks since the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report on the unprecedented politicization of employment practices at the Justice Department. The IG report concluded that disgraced officials such as Monica Goodling and former chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson “routinely broke the law” by applying political litmus tests, even when hiring prosecutors and immigration judges.
Since then, no one in the Bush administration has wanted to talk about the scandal. The good news is, Attorney General Michael Mukasey addressed the subject this morning in a speech to the American Bar Association. The bad news is, what he had to say was far from encouraging.
Initially, it seemed like Mukasey was, at long last, prepared to be candid and forthcoming. The problem came when the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer addressed what he was prepared to do as a consequence of the DoJ’s rampant lawbreaking.
Mukasey said he will not prosecute the DoJ employees who repeatedly and flagrantly violated the law.
Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Tuesday that the Department of Justice would not pursue criminal charges against former employees implicated in an internal investigation on politicized hiring practices.
“Where there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing, we vigorously investigate it,” Mukasey said in a speech at the American Bar Association. “And where there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime, we vigorously prosecute. But not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.”
Wait, not every violation of the law is a crime? Isn’t that the definition of a “crime”?