Wednesday’s appearance by former Justice official Monica Goodling has provided congressional Democrats with more subjects for possible investigation. The Christian Science Monitor Reports.
She portrayed herself as a mere foot soldier of the Justice Department. She offered little new information as to who targeted the eight US attorneys who were dismissed suddenly last December – and why the controversial firings might have occurred.
Still, Wednesday’s long-awaited testimony of former Justice official Monica Goodling has provided congressional Democrats with yet more subjects for possible investigation.
She described an “uncomfortable” attempt by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss the firings with her despite the fact that they both knew they were likely to be asked to testify before Congress. And she admitted that she had “crossed the line” in using political benchmarks for hiring lower-level Justice Department workers.
“Every rock [congressional investigators] lift up, they seem to find something under it,” says Benjamin Wittes, a Brookings Institution guest scholar in governance studies.
If nothing else, Ms. Goodling’s appearance emphasized the circular firing-squad aspect of the furor over the fired attorneys – with many of the major figures in the controversy blaming one another for any mistakes that may have occurred.
For instance, Goodling claimed that Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty knew full well that the White House had been involved in at least some of the firings – and that when he testified otherwise to Congress, he was “not fully candid.”