Congressional investigators are beginning to focus on accusations that a top civil rights official at the Justice Department illegally hired lawyers based on their political affiliations, especially for sensitive voting rights jobs.
Two former department lawyers told McClatchy Newspapers that Bradley Schlozman, a senior civil rights official, told them in early 2005, after spotting mention of their Republican affiliations on their job applications, to delete those references and resubmit their resumes. Both attorneys were hired.
One of them, Ty Clevenger, said: “He wanted to make it look like it was apolitical . . . “
Clevenger also recalled once passing on to Schlozman the name of a friend from Stanford as a possible hire. “Schlozman called me up and asked me something to the effect of, `Is he one of us?'” Clevenger said. “He wanted to know what the guy’s partisan credentials were.”
Remember, the Justice Department has now launched a probe of Monica Goodling on charges that she was engaged in hiring on the basis of party affiliation (indeed, it seems that hiring and firing on the basis of partisan loyalty was her job). But at this point the evidence against against Paul J. McNulty and Brad Schlozman, who are not targets of any probe, is stronger. These facts provide plenty of reason to question the bona fides of the current probe.