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Schlozman Broke Law, Then Tried To Hide It From Senate, But Won't Face Criminal Charges

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 01:56 PM
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Schlozman Broke Law, Then Tried To Hide It From Senate, But Won't Face Criminal Charges
Schloz Broke Law, But Won't Face Criminal Charges
By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 11:09AM

In case you were wondering about why the Schlozman report is dated July 2 2008 but was only released today, see this excerpt from page one:

We referred the findings from our investigation to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia in March 2008. We completed this written report of investigation in July 2008.
The U.S. Attorney's Office informed us on January 9, 2009, of its decision to decline prosecution of Schlozman. The Interim U.S. Attorney, Jeffrey Taylor, was recused from the matter and the decision.

We are now releasing our July 2008 report of investigation...

In other words, although the report found that Schlozman broke the law and lied to the Senate about it, he won't face criminal charges.

Report: Schlozman Broke The Law, Then Tried To Hide It From Senate
By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 10:39AM

Here's the key excerpt, finding that Schlozman broke the law by considering political affiliations in making hiring decisions, and made false statement about it to the Senate:

The evidence in our investigation showed that Schlozman, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and subsequently as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General, considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division. In doing so, he violated federal law - the Civil Service Reform Act - and Department policy that prohibit discrimination in federal employment based on political and ideological affiliations, and committed misconduct. The evidence also showed that Division managers failed to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that Schlozman did not engage in inappropriate hiring and personnel practices.
Moreover, Schlozman made false statements about whether he considered political and ideological affiliations when he gave sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and in his written responses to supplemental questions from the Committee. Schlozman is no longer employed by the Department and, therefore, is not subject to disciplinary action by the Department. We recommend, however, that, if criminal prosecution is declined these findings be considered if Schlozman seeks federal employment in the
future. We believe that his violations of the merit system principles set forth in the Civil Service Reform Act, federal regulations, and Department policy, and his subsequent false statements to Congress render him unsuitable for federal service.

Why No Charges For Schlozman?
By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 12:33PM

Given that the DOJ Inspector General'sreport found that Bradley Schlozman broke the law in making politicized hiring decisions, and lied about it to Congress, why and how did the US Attorney's office make the decision to decline to bring criminal charges?

We got a bit more information on that question from Patricia Riley, special counsel to the US Attorney for the District of Columbia, which conducted the investigation.

Riley told TPMmuckraker that her office was only asked by the Inspector General's office to look into the possible perjury charges stemming from Schlozman's congressional testimony, rather than the underlying hiring decisions. She said that six career prosecutors, with between 10 and 21 years experience, conducted the investigation, reporting to Assistant US Attorney Channing Phillips (US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor recused himself from the probe).

The investigation continued until last Friday, said Riley, and included interviews with witnesses who were not contacted by the IG's report. Based on that investigation, a decision was made not to bring criminal charges.

Riley declined to say what specific information uncovered in that probe determined the decision.

Top DOJer Called Voting-Rights Official "Black and Bitter"
By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 1:00PM

This might be the most horrifying excerpt from the Schlozman report:

In that incident in August 2004, Voting Section Chief John Tanner sent an e-mail to Schlozman asking Schlozman to bring coffee for him to a meeting both were scheduled to attend. Schlozman replied asking Tanner how he liked his coffee. Tanner's response was, "Mary Frances Berry style - black and bitter." Berry is an African-American who was the Chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from November 1993 until late 2004. Schlozman forwarded the e-mail chain to several Department officials (including Principal DAAG Bradshaw) but not Acosta, with the comment, "Y'all will appreciate Tanner's response." Acosta said that when he was made aware of the incident, he required Schlozman to make a written apology to him for his role in forwarding the e-mail and that Schlozman did so.
Tanner, as longtime readers will remember, was the guy who left the voting-rights section soon after saying that voter ID laws discriminate against the elderly, and therefore not against African-Americans, because African-Americans die younger.

We've contacted both Berry and Tanner to get their reactions...

Schloz: Voting Section Attorneys Are "Mold Spores"

By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 11:12AM
Here's another great Schlozman line from the report:

For example, in an e-mail on July 15, 2003, to a former colleague, Schlozman wrote, "I too get to work with mold spores, but here in Civil Rights, we call them Voting Section attorneys."

As part of the same e-mail exchange, on July 16, 2003, Schlozman wrote, "My tentative plans are to gerrymander all of those crazy libs rights out of the section."Schloz: Voting Section Attorneys Are "Mold Spores"


Leahy On Report: Schlozman Lied To Me
By Zachary Roth - January 13, 2009, 10:44AM

Pat Leahy, the chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, just put out the following statement on the DOJ report into politicized hiring:

Today's report confirms some of our worst fears about the Bush administration's political corruption of the Justice Department. Not only did senior Republican appointees violate the law in hiring based on politics in the Civil Rights Division, they also lied about it when called to explain themselves to Congress.
I am particularly disturbed about the findings that a senior Justice Department appointee, Bradley Schlozmann, made false statements under oath when appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lying to Congress undermines the very core of our constitutional principles and blunts the American people's right to open and transparent government. Not only did he lie to me and the Committee, but he then refused to cooperate with Justice Department's internal oversight offices' investigation into illegal hiring practices in the Department's Civil Rights Division. The clear determination that he broke the law corrodes our trust in our system of justice and in the nation's top law enforcement agency. His actions in fact undermine the very mission of the Department's Civil Rights Division, which is charged with enforcing federal law prohibiting discrimination.

A strong and independent Civil Rights Division has long been crucial to the enforcement of our precious civil rights laws, and experienced and committed career attorneys have always been the heart and soul of that Division. Contrary to those traditions, however, this report details troubling revelations of political appointees who marginalize and force out career lawyers because of ideology, and, corrupt the hiring process for career positions. It should come as no surprise that the result, and of course the intent, of this political makeover of the Civil Rights Division has been a dismal civil rights enforcement record.

This report is just one of the final chapters in the regrettable legacy of the Bush administration at Main Justice, and it reinforces the need for new leadership. Now more than ever, it is necessary to confirm a new team to lead the Justice Department, starting with Attorney General designee Eric Holder.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm sorry, but is Leahy for prosecution or not?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I just sent these clips to Conyers and pleaded that he return the rule of law to
these individuals!
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 02:01 PM
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2. Is there any reason why the new guys in town can't prosecute?
Seems like Reid is kinda opening the way there.
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-13-09 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. How can anyone expect anything to change as long as criminals are rewarded for their crimes?
We've seen it over and over again during the Bush years: crimes go unpunished, the criminals are rewarded for their behavior.

Obama and the new Congress MUST put a stop to this. If you do the crime, you do the time. NO EXCEPTIONS!
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 02:02 PM
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5. Yes it it time for "to confirm a new team to lead the Justice Department"
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-15-09 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great post!
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-19-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. Errr, ummm, it is called PERJURY. You "hide" Easter eggs. :-)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 07:12 AM
Response to Original message
8. Well, if our Dept. of Justice, and our Congress, and our courts, and no one at all
is going to enforce the law for the rich and the powerful and well-connected--an appalling situation--what about another kind of remedy, to deny them the fruits of their evil labor? Use this report to undo every one of this maggot Schlozman's appointments to career positions. Executive Order No. 3: You are all fired!

It is intolerable to have these Bushwhack moles in our government. The report establishes felonious intent, and felonies committed, in these appointments. They are invalid. They are annulled. They never should have been.

Civil Service protection is for validly, rightfully appointed people only. Schlozman has tainted every one of these appointments. Get them out!
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