September 10, 2007

070613_cb_schlozmanex.jpg Via TPM Muckraker:

In written answers to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Bradley Schlozman, the former Justice Department official and U.S. attorney who's been at the center of the firings controversy, admitted that he'd once urged hiring certain prosecutors for his office based on their political affiliation. It's against civil service laws to do so.

But he had a reason, he explains (how good a reason, you can decide for yourself). When serving as the interim U.S. attorney for Kansas City, Schlozman had been unable to hire assistant U.S. attorneys on his own, as Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys are able to do. For that, he had to go through the central office, or in this case, Monica Goodling, the Department's White House liaison. He'd "heard rumors," he writes,"that Ms. Goodling considered political affiliation in approving hiring decisions for career positions." Goodling, of course, admitted in testimony to Congress that she'd made sure that only Republicans were hired for certain non-political positions.

And so, Schlozman explains, in order to "maximize the chances" of being able to hire his desired candidate, he "once noted the likely political leanings of several applicants" in a conversation with Department officials.

But there was no damage done! Schlozman adds that none of his desired candidates were hired. Read more...

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