Gonzogate: Department of Just Asses

Oh, kids! I had something else planned for this evening, but when I got home, I noticed that there was news of Gonzogate, and you know I just cannot resist a Monica Goodling story! Sorry that this is a bit of a rush job.

From the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON — Top aides to former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales employed a political and ideological litmus test to weed out candidates for career and other positions at the Justice Department, an internal department report concluded Monday.

The audit by the department’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that former Gonzales aides Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson violated department policies and federal civil-service laws.

Original DVD cover

The report provides a more detailed examination of questionable moves by Goodling and others that emerged in congressional hearings last year. Goodling, after receiving a grant of congressional immunity, acknowledged before the House Judiciary Committee that she had “crossed a line” and allowed political and other impermissible factors to affect her hiring decisions.

Goodling was the White House liaison at the Justice Department; Sampson was Gonzales’ chief of staff.

The latest disclosures include a finding that Goodling rejected the application of a career terrorism prosecutor who wanted to work at Justice Department headquarters because his wife was active in local Democratic politics.

Goodling also sought out the advice of the White House and other Republicans in filling vacant immigration judge positions.


The report also found that Goodling discriminated against another career department attorney who had applied for several temporary details because she was perceived to be having a lesbian relationship with a U.S. attorney.


Gonzales’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, said the report made “two important points” about the former attorney general.

“First, the investigation found that former Attorney General Gonzales was not involved in or aware of the politicized hiring practices of staffers. Second, when he became aware of the problems he moved to correct them,” Terwilliger said.

Gonzales, in a separate statement, said, “I am gratified that the efforts I initiated to address this issue have now been affirmed and augmented by this report.”

Oh, yeah, Gonzo, you did a heckuvajob!

USA Today posted these excerpts from the Inspector General’s report:

Our investigation found that Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions, in violation of federal law and Department policy. With regard to requests from interim U.S. Attorneys to hire [assisant U.S. attorneys], we determined that in two instances Goodling considered the candidate’s political or ideological affiliations when she assessed the request. For example, in one instance when the interim U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia sought approval from Goodling to hire an AUSA for a vacant position, Goodling responded that the candidate gave her pause because judging from his résumé he appeared to be a “liberal Democrat.”

Goodling also stated that because Republicans had lost control of Congress after the November 2006 elections, she expected that Republican congressional staff might be interested in applying for AUSA positions in Washington. Eventually, after the interim U.S. Attorney complained to [Chief of Staff Kyle] Sampson about Goodling’s response to his request, the U.S. Attorney was allowed to hire the AUSA. The evidence also showed that Goodling considered political or ideological affiliations when recommending and selecting candidates for other permanent career positions, including a career [senior executive service] position in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) and AUSA positions. These actions violated federal law and Department policy, and also constituted misconduct.

In addition, we determined that Goodling often used political or ideological affiliations to select or reject career attorney candidates for temporary details to Department offices, including positions in EOUSA that had not been filled by political appointees. Goodling’s use of political considerations in connection with these details was particularly damaging to the Department because it resulted in high-quality candidates for important details being rejected in favor of less-qualified candidates. For example, an experienced career terrorism prosecutor was rejected by Goodling for a detail to EOUSA to work on counterterrorism issues because of his wife’s political affiliations. Instead, EOUSA had to select a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who EOUSA officials believed was not qualified for the position.

[First name of a candidate]! and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!


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17 responses to “Gonzogate: Department of Just Asses

  1. nightowl724

    The little missy who is the subject of this post was guaranteed immunity. This was presumably done to “bring down the big fish,” but that hasn’t happened, either. The lesson to us and our children is what you show so clearly in your version of the DOJ seal.

    Fab title et al, nonnie!

  2. nightowl!
    i didn’t see the news until almost 7 this evening. i had another poster ready, but you know me and gonzogate. i drop everything for that. i had to find a movie in a hurry and slap something together.
    all is not lost yet. little miss monica might lose her law license. i hope the same happens to gonzo, ashcroft, and a lot of the other dip$hits who had a part in this. you never know–someone in the chain who has not received immunity might get jittery and spill his/her guts. we can only hope.

  3. nightowl724

    Did you catch this over at Slate? It’s Venn-tastic!

    Crimes and Misdemeanors

    Each scandal is represented by a colored circle that encompasses the people who are implicated. As it’s easy to see, many of the players here are mixed up in two, three, or more of the alleged crimes. Hence all the overlapping circles (Venn-diagram heaven!).

    The best way to make sense of this legal tangle is to mouse over the title of an individual scandal, which will highlight everyone implicated. For example, the wiretapping bubble ensnares George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, David Addington, John Ashcroft, John Yoo, and Alberto Gonzales. At the same time, Ashcroft and Gonzales fall into the overlapping circle for monkey business related to DoJ hiring. Mouse over a person’s name for information on how each person is involved. Mouse over the title of each circle for specifics about the particular scandal.

    And if all else fails, fall back on this golden rule of wrongdoing in the White House: All roads lead to Gonzales.

    Mouse over the scandals, and click on the scandal titles and the names in the diagram for more detailed information.

  4. nightowl!
    this is uncanny! that’s what i had prepared for tonight but left in the hopper when the new monica story appeared! i saw it a few days ago, and i finally got around to doing a poster to go with it. i will post it tomorrow (barring any new breaking stories!).

  5. nightowl724

    Cool beans! I can’t wait! Now, cue the theme from The Twilight Zone.

  6. jlms qkw - jenn

    poor monica. okay, not.

    wow, what a day: two diaries. rescue stuff. school lessons. tending new pootie baby, and feeding kidlets. sigh, or as jotter said the other day, hsigh. 😉

  7. jlms qkw - jenn

    oh nightowl, that venn diagram is wonderful! thx!

  8. nightowl724

    You’re welcome, jenn! 🙂

  9. what? you didn’t bake a cake and knit a sweater, too, jenn? slacker! 😛

  10. nightowl724

    Yeah, jenn…

  11. Hey Nonnie,

    Don’t forget to whom Monica is engaged (married now?).

  12. jeb

    This is one of the scandals that really makes my blood boil. The sad thing is that Bu$hco bet on the American public not giving a rat’s ass if they gutted the justice department and turned it into a political tool. Turns out they seemed to be right. Now Mukasey sits there and ignores congressional subpeonas for oversight.

    The next prez is being set up for a huge fall because these guys have completed the neo-con wet dream of gutting the government and waiting for it to fall.

    As for Gonzo, there is nothing in my opinion as reprehensible as a top level executive who declines responsibility while they admit incompotence and ignorance and still preen as if they deserve some sort of medal. Goes double for Bu$h!

  13. jeb

    Oooh, Ooooh Nonnie, did ya see? Sen. Tubes has been indicted on seven counts (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25916299). Speaking of Justus!

    I eagerly await your next installment.

  14. e.m.!
    i know! i saw that when the announcement of their engagement was announced. what cliche is best? water seeks its own level? birds of a feather?

  15. jeb,
    i am at a loss as to who among chimpy and his gang is the most contemptuous. for all the evil done under ashcroft and gonzo, i sometimes think that mukasey is the most evil, because he isn’t blinded by ideology, and he still accepts and makes excuses for all of the law-breaking.
    i just turned the tv on, and one of the first things i saw and heard was that senator tubes has been indicted! 😀

  16. jeb

    Nonnie, I agree. Mukasey came across as someone who knew better and wouldn’t be a partisan hack (another Gates) but that is not how it turned out. Seems he’s just another hatchet man.

  17. jeb,
    sometimes i wonder if chimpy & co. blackmail all these people into doing their bidding–the ones that have not yet drunk the koolaid, that is. we know that he has his true believers, but there are some–colin powell and mukasey, for example–who seemed to have minds of their own until they joined this maladministration. 😕