June 24, 2008

Justice Department IG Report Shows “Deliberate Effort” to Taint Hiring Processes, Whitehouse Says

R.I. Senator Helped Lead Judiciary Committee Investigation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a former U.S. Attorney who helped lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into widespread political interference at the Department of Justice, commented today on the report by the Inspector General’s office looking into hiring practices in the Department’s Honors Program:

“Today’s report confirms that the Bush Administration was engaged in a deliberate effort to inject partisan politics into the administration of justice. According to the Inspector General, under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the prestigious Justice Department Honors Program and the Summer Law Intern Program were made into a recruitment firm for conservatives, rewarding ideology with career advancement. That was anathema to the longstanding traditions of the Department, and in at least one case ‘violated federal law.’

“These reports will be instrumental in the Department’s efforts to rebuild in these next months and long after this Administration is gone. I will continue to monitor that process. It will be important for Attorney General Mukasey to assure Congress and the American people that they can trust the integrity of the Justice Department’s hiring processes, and that this won’t be allowed to happen again.”


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