Monica Goodling, a former Department of Justice official and aide to U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzalez, has testified before Congress in the controversy over the firing of eight U.S. prosecutors.
Monica Goodling was granted partial immunity in return for her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee after she asserted her constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
Goodling said although she had the title of Justice Department White House Liaison, her contacts with the White House were limited, and she was not a decision-maker.
“I did not hold the keys to the kingdom as some have suggested. I was not the primary White House contact for purposes of the development or approval of the U.S. attorney replacement plan. I never attended a meeting of the White House judicial selection committee. The attorney general and [his former chief of staff] Kyle Sampson attended those
meetings. To the best of my recollection I have never had a conversation with Karl Rove or Harriet Meiers while I served at the Department of Justice, and I am certain that I never spoke to either of them about the hiring or firing of any U.S. attorney,” he said.
Goodling said she did have discussions with staff members of Rove and Meiers, in her words, “regarding specific aspects of the replacement plan”, and acknowledged she attended one meeting after the decision to fire the attorneys was made, at which Rove was present.