The Washington Post confirmed tonight that former Gonzales counsel Monica Goodling, who will testify tomorrow before the House Judiciary Committee, is under investigation by the Justice Dept. inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility because of her effort to block the hiring of a career prosecutor last fall because he was too “liberal.”
Goodling — a 33-year-old graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University with six months of prosecutorial experience — tried to thwart an effort by interim U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor to hire Seth Adam Meinero, “a Howard University law school graduate who had worked on civil rights cases at the Environmental Protection Agency and had served as a special assistant prosecutor.”
Goodling stalled the hiring, saying that Meinero was too “liberal” for the nonpolitical position, said according to two sources familiar with the dispute. […]
Taylor complained to Goodling directly, according to two sources who were told about the conversation, saying that a U.S. attorney’s office hires all kinds of people. Taylor also complained to Sampson, who was a friend and eventually gave Taylor the authority to bypass Goodling.
Taylor mentioned the experience to U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of Alexandria, the sources said. After Rosenberg became Gonzales’s temporary chief of staff following Sampson’s resignation, he asked the department’s inspector general to look into Taylor’s allegations, they added.
Such allegations against Goodling are nothing new. Media accounts have documented how she “moved to block the hiring of prosecutors with r©sum©s that suggested they might be Democrats,” and quizzed “applicants for civil service jobs at Justice Department headquarters with questions that several United States attorneys said were inappropriate, like who was their favorite president and Supreme Court justice. One department official said an applicant was even asked, ‘Have you ever cheated on your wife?‘”
Hiring for such positions based on political affiliation is a violation of federal law.