Inspector General Report: Bush DOJ Official Broke the Law

The Inspector General's report on the civil rights division of the Department of Justice is out. The findings: Bush appointee Bradley Schlozman broke the law.

Among the newly hired lawyers whose political or ideological views could be discerned, 63 of 65 lawyers hired under Schlozman had Republican or conservative credentials, the report said.


The inspector general concluded Schlozman violated the civil services laws while at the Justice Department. While the president's appointees are entitled to run the department and set policy, they are prohibited from considering "political affiliations" in deciding on who serves in career positions in the federal government.

"We found that Schlozman inappropriately considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys," said the report issued jointly by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and H. Marshall Jarrett, who heads the Office of Professional Responsibility. The report cited the abusive language as evidence of the harsh political tone.

What happens to Schlozman?

Separately, the U.S. attorney's office in Washington announced it will not seek to prosecute Schlozman for giving false testimony to Congress.

How do those he supervised feel?

Joseph D. Rich, the former chief of the Voting Rights section, said the report "confirms the disdain and vitriol they had for career civil rights attorneys. He called us 'mold spores.' That kind of us epitomizes his view. He was probably the most miserable person I ever worked for," said Rich, who retired in 2007 after a 37-year career at the Justice Department.

Update: Marcy of Empty Wheel has more.

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    Surprise (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by blogtopus on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:37:00 PM EST
    Post-partisan is also Post-criminality, I guess. Does this mean I can rob a bank before the Inauguration and get away with it?

    I understand all the people who just want to move on, but this isn't about a blow job, dammit. Either we follow the rule of law or we don't, and this is showing that we don't.

    The great Healer isn't doing anything of the sort; he's putting bandages on top of an infection and not doing anything else. Sooner or later that infection will come back, again, just like it did 8 years ago. How many more relapses can the U.S. withstand?

    Anyways, I'm glad some people are at least interested in documenting the atrocities.

    This is really bad stuff (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:57:04 PM EST
    I've always had such high regard for the DOJ and the people who work there.  I can't believe what these idiots did to it.  But how is it that they'll go after baseball players for lying to Congress about steroids or whatever, yet they won't do anything to this guy?

    Leahy is peeved (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:06:29 AM EST
    that they're not going to prosecute:

    I really wish that the current U.S. attorney's office appointed by this administration had prosecuted. I think that the only way you stop such blatant criminal violations by people who know better, people who are sworn to uphold the law, (unint.) that they know they'll go to jail for breaking the law. That's what should have been done. And just because they broke the law in the Bush administration and the Bush administration did not, or deemed not to prosecute, I think that raises real questions. Prosecution should be done no matter who breaks the law. I think about one of the people who testified that same investigation and said that, uh, "we swear an oath to President George Bush." I said, "no, you swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. That constitution is the constitution you're sworn to uphold and I'm sworn to uphold and it's the constitution that reflects all Americans."...

    And when somebody deliberately, purposely sets out to subvert the constitution of the United States, and then lies about it, lies about it, Mr. President, I find that a heinous crime. We will see some kid who steals a car, they'll be prosecuted as they probably should. But when you have a key member of the DoJ lie about it under oath, who subverts the consitution of the United States, all the more reason to prosecute that person. Mr. President what Mr. Schlozman did was reprehensible, it was disgusting, it was wrong, goes at the very core of America's principles...

    yes, (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by cpinva on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:07:43 AM EST
    Does this mean I can rob a bank before the Inauguration and get away with it?

    as long as you're a good, conservative republican in the process.

    But how is it that they'll go after baseball players for lying to Congress about steroids or whatever, yet they won't do anything to this guy?

    because the integrity of baseball is far more important than the integrity of DOJ. geez, what kind of an american are you, anyway?

    It's so much worse than the fact that (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:21:59 AM EST
    Schlozman lied to Congress, isn't it - especially when you consider how many upper-echelon people at DOJ were involved in some variation of what  Schlozman was doing at DOJ, and how many of them will be found to have lied to Congress, too?  The IG's report states that he violated civil service laws - and it is galling that now that he is no longer employed by the DOJ, there is no disciplinary action that can be taken.  That the IG recommends that Schlozman be considered unfit for future federal service is meaningless, isn't it?  

    There's some sort of sick irony in Schlozman's apparent focus on hiring attorneys whom he believed would see to the proper application of the rule of law by virtue of theor political leanings and affiliations, even as he was perverting the law to do it; maybe there will be some poetic justice if he - like Gonzales - can't find a firm that wants to hire him, but I think AG-nominee Holder needs to be asked whether he considers lying to Congress to be a prosecutable offense.  And call me crazy, but I would prefer poetic justice and irony to be elements of the novels I read, and not inherent in the daily business of the DOJ, but that's me.

    Am kind of sorry I read the report - blood-boiling is not good for one's arteries.

    Complaints must (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by OldCity on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:48:53 AM EST
    be made to his bar association.  He should be disbarred.

    agreed (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by txpublicdefender on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:09:06 PM EST
    Let's all get on it.  Anyone know where he is admitted to practice?

    just read this (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by txpublicdefender on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:11:19 PM EST
    Apparently, the Washington Post reported that:
    Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett said they would refer their findings to legal disciplinary authorities.

    Super... (none / 0) (#12)
    by OldCity on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 07:31:12 AM EST
    Now, we have to hope that they understand that lying to Congress is unethical, violating covol service law is unethical, etc...

    A Lee Attwater wannabe. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:50:14 PM EST

    Guess the next question is (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:27:49 AM EST
    How many attended Regent University?

    Hiring Regent graduates (none / 0) (#9)
    by ricosuave on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:21:30 AM EST
    should be legally equivalent to hiring someone because of their political affiliation.  The regent diploma is like a republican kosher certification.