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Goodling Testimony Revealing (Except to Republicans)

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Message John Conyers

originally published on dailykos.com, here.

After today’s testimony from Monica Goodling, I think Republicans need to come up with some new talking points on the United States Attorney matter. They keep saying that 

There’s nothing to this investigation... Democrats are on a fishing expedition... There’s no there there.

That has never been true, but today was a crystallizing moment. I thought Ms. Goodling was a good and loquacious witness who brought forward some critical information:


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In the first five minutes of this hearing, we learned that in Ms. Goodling's view, Paul McNulty, the Deputy Attorney General, misled the Senate in his testimony about the limited role of the White House, when he personally knew otherwise. We also learned that Mr. McNulty withheld information from the Senate which had the effect of concealing Senator Domenici’s role in the termination of Mr. Iglesias. Ms. Goodling also admitted to taking inappropriate political considerations into account when hiring non-political DOJ employees.

Second, in what I believe may have been the bombshell revelation of the hearing, we learned the Attorney General made public statements that Ms. Goodling believed were inaccurate and that he appeared to be engaged in "coaching" witnesses after the fact, in direct contradiction to the Attorney General's testimony that he had gone out of his way not to speak to any of the fact witnesses. This coaching made Ms. Goodling feel, in her own words "uncomfortable." This raises the most serious questions to date about the conduct of the Attorney General.

Third, we learned the White House was intimately involved in the process of terminating the US Attorneys, from the beginning through final sign off, and Ms. Goodling believes Mr. Rove was involved in the process.

Fourth, Ms. Goodling admitted that laws were violated with regard to the consideration of the hiring of career employees at the Department of Justice. By her own terms, she admitted she "crossed the line" with regard to the hiring of Assistant US Attorneys and Immigration Judges.

Fifth, we learned that there indeed was a ninth US Attorney on the firing list, Mr. Graves from Missouri. Again, this contradicts the testimony of the Attorney General on this matter.

Based on today’s testimony, I believe it is more important than ever that the Judiciary Committee get to the bottom of this matter. It is important that we obtain the testimony of Mr. McNulty, given that Ms. Goodling essentially stated that he misled Congress, as well as Mr. Sampson. It is also imperative that we at long last obtain the cooperation of the White House. Today we learned that laws have been broken and trust has been violated, and the American people deserve to learn the truth.

This leads our investigation in two important directions. The first direction stays at the Department of Justice. That is where serious allegations of improper and potentially criminal activity have been made against senior Department officials. They must answer these allegations in an open and public hearing, under oath.

The second direction is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If testimony received to date has been truthful, no one at the Justice Department knows who put the names of the United States Attorneys on the list and why. That leaves one place where these answers reside: the White House.

I have given the White House plenty of time to reach a resolution to allow us to obtain the testimony of Administration officials and the documents we need to get answers. My patience has run out and they have days, not weeks, to be forthcoming to the Committee.

My staff has attached a few video clips from the hearing that highlight many of these points for those who missed all or part of the hearing.

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Representative John Conyers, Jr., a Detroit Democrat, was re-elected to the 14th Congressional District in November 2004, to his 20 term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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