Monica Goodling Spills The Beans

News & Politics
This post originally appeared on Fire Dog Lake

The House Judiciary Committee will be taking testimony from Monica Goodling this morning, beginning at 10:15 am ET in 2141 Rayburn. C-Span3 and C-Span radio will be broadcasting the testimony live. And it looks as though the committee will have some sort of webcast going as well. I'll be liveblogging below, too. Hang on kids, we are about to learn what, if any, beans Monica decides to spill.

While we're waiting for testimony to begin, the LATimes has an article on Ms. Goodling that is worth a read. This is particularly noteworthy:
How a 33-year-old graduate of a little-known law school that teaches courses on the philosophy of punishing and controlling "sin" became such a powerful figure in the Justice Department is a key question for congressional investigators looking into charges that the department has been turned into a political tool of the Republican Party....
Critics say that Gonzales, by countenancing the firings, hurt the independence of the Justice Department and revealed himself to be more concerned about doing the bidding of the White House than protecting the department's credibility and integrity.
"People like Monica ... were misguided and didn't get it," said H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, one of the U.S. attorneys dismissed last year. Still, Cummins said, Gonzales and other senior officials deserve the lion's share of the blame. "It is their job to stand up and say, 'No,' " he said in an interview. "There obviously was a failure, no matter whose idea this was, at the top levels of the department to assert independent judgment."...
Mark Corallo, a former Justice Department spokesman, said Goodling was trying to bring balance to the department, and he ridiculed those who criticized her for trying to screen potential hires based on their political beliefs. The civil rights division, he argued, has long been populated by "some of the most radical Democrats in the law." blockquote>
He called Goodling "a real perfectionist; an incredibly energetic, good person."...
Her tenure at that office appears to have been crucial to facilitating the plan to fire U.S. attorneys. Former colleagues said that she prevailed upon the head of the office, Michael A. Battle, to replace two long-serving officials who probably would have viewed the firing of prosecutors without cause as highly suspicious, and helped install a fellow Regent law school graduate as a replacement....
Later, as both counselor to Gonzales and the White House liaison, Goodling's influence appeared to grow. Working in tandem with Sampson, she was delegated the power to hire and fire scores of political appointees at the Justice Department....
Some people close to the selection process suspect Goodling and Sampson were attempting an end-run around the commission to install a politically connected Washington insider, possibly by using a law that permitted the attorney general to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without Senate oversight.

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