Report: Senior Justice Department aide gave false statements to Congress about hiring
A former top aide at the U.S. Department of Justice hired conservatives, Republicans or “right-thinking Americans” for apolitical posts and gave false statements to Congress about the agency’s hiring practices, according to an internal report the New York Times is reporting on today.
The report is the product of an investigation conducted by the agency’s inspector general and is the “fourth and last in a series of reports since last year detailing the use of improper political considerations in hiring decisions at the department,” the Times reports.
The series of reports grew out the U.S. attorney firings that eventually cost former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales his job. New Mexico’s U.S. Attorney, David Iglesias, was among those fired, and he led a campaign to rehabilitate his name after DOJ officials said the firings were based on performance.
An earlier report released last fall indicated the White House had knowledge of the process that determined who was on the list of those to be fired and criticized New Mexico’s own U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson, both Republicans.
The Times’ story Tuesday on the latest investigation reports:
“A former senior official at the Justice Department routinely hired conservatives, Republicans and so-called RTA’s — ‘Right-Thinking Americans’ — for what were supposed to be apolitical posts and gave them plum assignments on important civil rights cases, an internal report found Tuesday.
“The former official, Bradley Schlozman, who helped lead the civil rights division from 2003 until he resigned in the fall of 2007 amid a political uproar over broad charges of politicization at the department, also gave false statements to Congress in denying that he had taken politics into account in his hiring and personnel decisions, the report found.”