Monica Goodling Testimony, Part IV
(Shot of spilled beans via Dougalug.)
The House Judiciary Committee will be taking testimony from Monica Goodling this morning, beginning at 10:15 am ET in 2141 Rayburn. C-Span3 and C-Span radio will be broadcasting the testimony live. And it looks as though the committee will have some sort of webcast going as well. I'll be liveblogging below, too. Hang on kids, we are about to learn what, if any, beans Monica decides to spill.
Please keep comments to a minimum as much as possible to facilitate smooth liveblogging and keep the load off the servers as much as possible. Wouldn't want to crash in the middle of testimony, now would we? Would hate it if your comment was the one too many, so think before you hit send. Thanks!
REP. KELLER QUESTIONS: Started as WH liaison in April 2006. Had worked at DoJ in other positions for about 4 years. Says that Lam was a topic of frequent conversation — there were a lot of conversations regarding gun issues (project safe neighborhoods project — people saying she was underperforming — knew this from the 2003/2004 timeframe when Goodling worked for the public affairs office). First heard about immigration issues — maybe when in executive office, via letters from Congress in 2005. Did anyone at DoJ ever indicate that she should be fired for investigating GOp officials? Not that Goodling knows. Doesn't remember anything like that from the WH either. Now talking about the Feinstein complaint about "coyote" cases not being fully hammered, and wondering when he'll see a smoking gun piece of information.
REP. WATERS QUESTIONS: Why did you resign? Goodling says she didn't think that she could be effective any longer. Waters asks about RNC issues — understand that you worked with Barbara Comstock doing oppo research, and then moved over to the RNC PR. Did you use any of your oppo skills once you went over to the DoJ? Goodling says that she certainly used Westlaw and Lexis. In what way did you use them? Goodling says that she researched people that they were considering hiring. Did you use them to make decisions on who should be retired? Goodling says no. Do you have an HR division which does this sort of background research? Goodling says no — just her and her deputy who were responsible for looking at this information. Did you ever discuss any of the research you had discovered with Rove or anyone in his office? Not with Rove. Discussed it with Scott Jennings and Jane Cherry (sp?). So, you used this information for hiring with political appointees? Did talk to WH office of political affairs about who should be hired after she checked out people at the DoJ. Did you document your research — is it on file anywhere? Goodling hedges — didn't really keep that sort of information. Do you have files where you kept this information? Goodling says there would be some files and they would be at the DoJ.
REP. ISSA QUESTIONS: And we're back to the Feinstein letter. And back to Issa and Sensenbrenner's griping about her as well. Now talking about the FBI doing background checks on potential hires as well, and downplaying personal oppo research done by Goodling. Goodling says that someone told her that Lam was an independent but that she never checked her voter registration personally — Issa says that's public record. Looked not only to politcal appointees but also to qualified career professionals. Then we bring up the "Clinton did it, too" talking point. (CHS notes: I'd say that every single time Issa asks questions, that this is the thing he ends with every single time.)
REP. DELAHUNT QUESTIONS: Talking about the delegation order from the AG, which he finds to be extraordinary given Goodling's limited experience, legal and otherwise. Can you explain why the AG bypassed McNulty (the DAG). Putting this at the feet of the Justice Management Division (late fall 2005) — personnel actions needed to be delegated. Said Margolis had made some decisions. Why not notify the existence of that order to McNulty, then — why the statement specifically that McNulty was not to be notified, that then caused considerable controversy in National Journal article. Goodling says she read it and found it not to be very accurate. Goodling says that the decision was to have Sampson notify him personally. Given the disparity of experience like yourself who were involved and the true professionals who were bypassed — Delahunt says it raises questions for him. Goodling says sometimes people had different experiences, and that people assessed people differently.
REP. PENCE QUESTIONS: Starts with a Lincoln quote about the need for the people getting the facts. Talking about Goodling's bio a bit. Now discussing "illegal behavior" — talking about the criminalization of politics. Says politics are vital to our consitutional system of government. Says this troubles him.
REP. COHEN QUESTIONS: Talking about why she attended Regent – says that she enjoyed studying with people who had the same belief system. Says she didn't ask applicants about their religion — and doesn't recall any discussion of religion coming up. Says that she was looking for people who wanted to do good int he world, and that people she knew from Regent who were like that. Lots of people who applied to work for this President who shared his same faith system. Who told you about the violation of the departmental policy on unauthorized discussions with members of Congress? Heard about it several times — there were specific requirements about contacts between USAs and elected officials. Talking about Ashton's discussions about a management consultant talking to AUSAs in the office, and career staff in the office didn't appreciate being asked to be analyzed in Vine's (sp?) office. Historically, prior to this Administration.
Committee in recess for three votes and lunch. Will return at 2:00 pm ET.