Main Justice: McNulty Says He Knew Nothing… | Harper's Magazine

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Main Justice: McNulty Says He Knew Nothing…


Funny, isn’t it? Alberto Gonzales, Hans von Spakovsky, Will Moschella, Brad Schlozman, and now Paul J. McNulty. When they are questioned by Congress about the key decisions that were made to cashier a crop of U.S. attorneys, terminate staffers and hire political hacks who lack obvious qualification, they all seem to have not the foggiest idea about what was going on. Today was McNulty’s day. His performance was dazzling. McNulty claimed not even to know that the core of his authority as Deputy Attorney General – the power to hire and fire – had been stripped away and given to two political neophytes with close ties to Karl Rove. He learned about it in the media, he claims.

MCNULTY: What struck me was the guidance on the control sheet, if you will, that said ‘this is to not be circulated through the office of the Deputy Attorney General.’ And I still don’t know to this day why that was the case.

JOHNSON: Were you disturbed because you were cut out of the loop, as the chairman indicated?

MCNULTY: Well, that definitely was a concern to me when I saw that. And I’ve heard Ms. Goodling’s explanation of it, I didn’t quite understand it. And I’m still not clear as to her position on that subject. What I understood it to be, it looked like it was something that wasn’t going through the Deputy’s office for recommendation to the Attorney General, as most of our documents do. I can’t say much more about it than that.

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