Bradley Schlozman 101: How To Politicize The Justice Department

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"Bradley Schlozman 101: How To Politicize The Justice Department"

scholzman1.gifToday at 2:30 pm ET, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing featuring Bradley Schlozman, the controversial political appointee at the Justice Department who has emerged as a central figure in both the U.S. attorneys scandal and the politicization of the Justice Department under the Bush administration.

Schlozman, who is currently working in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, also served for three years in the Justice Dept’s Civil Rights Division. In March 2006, he was appointed, without Senate confirmation, to replace Todd Graves as a U.S. Attorney in Missouri.

In advance of today’s hearing, he’s an overview of his dirty work:

Schlozman replaced fired U.S. attorney who refused to endorse a voter fraud lawsuit championed by Schlozman: U.S. attorney Todd Graves “may have been on a list for replacement because of his refusal to endorse a lawsuit against the State of Missouri alleging voter fraud before the 2006 election.” The same lawsuit had been approved by Schlozman when he was Acting Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and was then filed soon after he was appointed as Graves’s successor.

Voter fraud case championed by Schlozman found to have “no evidence” by federal judge: On April 14, 2007, a federal judge ruled that a lawsuit pushed by Schlozman against the Missouri Secretary of State showed “no evidence” voter fraud. “It is also telling that the United States has not shown that any Missouri resident was denied his or her right to vote as a result of deficiencies alleged by the United States,” Judge Nanette Laughrey wrote. “Nor has the United States shown that any voter fraud has occurred.”

Disregarding DoJ policy, Schlozman filed voter fraud indictments a week before 2006 election: As an interim U.S. attorney in Missouri, Schlozman brought “felony indictments of four workers for a liberal activist group on voter registration fraud charges less than a week before the 2006 election,” a move that ran counter to a longstanding standing policy in the Justice Department about exercising caution in bringing indictments in election law or voter fraud cases close to election because they can potentially influence the result of the election.

Schlozman killed investigation of Native American voter suppression in Minnesota: A U.S. attorney in Minnesota was alarmed that a GOP official’s plan to bar certain uses of Tribal IDs for voter identification would result in electoral discrimination against Indian voters. When an investigation was recommended, Schlozman, advised “not to do anything without his approval” because of the “special sensitivity of this matter,” effectively ending the investigation.

Like Goodling, Schlozman politicized hiring in Civil Rights Division: Under Schlozman, eight lawyers hired by the Justice Dept’s Civil Rights Division “largely because of their Republican or conservative connections.” Schlozman asked appointees “to delete mention on their resumes of Republican affiliations,” to “make it look like it was apolitical.”

You can watch Schlozman’s testimony today HERE and HERE. He will be followed by Todd Graves, one of the fired U.S. attorneys, whom he replaced.

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