Monica Goodling

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Monica Marie Goodling (born August 6, 1973) is a former United States government lawyer and political appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush. She was the Director of Public Affairs for the United States Department of Justice, serving under Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales. She has no direct family relationship to former United States Representative William F. Goodling.[1] Contents [hide]

   * 1 Education
   * 2 Political and legal career
   * 3 U.S. attorneys controversy
         o 3.1 Resignation
         o 3.2 Grant of limited immunity to testify
         o 3.3 House Judiciary committee hearing
   * 4 Role in other DOJ controversies
   * 5 Notes
   * 6 Links

[edit] Education

She was a 1991 graduate of Northeastern High School, Manchester, Pennsylvania, and Goodling received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1995 from Messiah College, a Christian institution. She received her J.D. in 1999 from Regent University Law School.


[edit] Political and legal career

Ms. Goodling worked alongside Tim Griffin as an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign. She joined the Department of Justice's press office after George W. Bush was elected president. She moved to the department's executive office, which is responsible for budgeting, management, personnel management and evaluation, later becoming deputy director of the executive office.[2] After less than a year, Goodling moved again, to the attorney general’s office, working as the the White House liaison.[2] According to David Ayres, senior chief of staff to Attorney General John Ashcroft, "She was the embodiment of a hardworking young conservative who believed strongly in the president and his mission".[3] But according to Bud Cummins, one of the fired prosecutors and an Arkansas Republican, “She was inexperienced, way too naïve and a little overzealous".[2]

After moving to the Attorney General's office, she retained some of her executive office authority over personnel matters. Goodling's authority over hiring expanded significantly in March 2006, when Attorney General Gonzales signed an unpublished order delegating to Goodling and Kyle Sampson, Gonzales's then chief of staff, the power to appoint or dismiss all department political appointees besides United States attorneys (who are appointed by the President). The delegation included authority over interim United States attorneys (who are appointed by the Attorney General) and heads of the divisions that handle civil rights, public corruption, environmental crimes and other matters.[2][4][5]

[edit] U.S. attorneys controversy

   Main article: Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy

According to e-mails, Goodling was involved in planning controversial 2006 US attorney dismissals and in later efforts to limit the negative reaction.[6] Goodling "warned of potential political problems with Timothy Griffin's interim appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and underscored White House interest in getting it done."[6] Reportedly, Goodling "took a leading role" in Bud Cummins's dismissal.[6]

[edit] Resignation

On March 23, 2007, she took an indefinite leave of absence.[7] On March 26, 2007, Goodling cancelled her upcoming appearance at a Congressional hearing, citing her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.[8][9] In its history, no Department of Justice employee has ever exercised their fifth amendment rights with respect to official conduct, and remained an employee.[10] On April 6, 2007, Goodling announced her resignation from the Department of Justice, writing to Gonzales, "May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America."[11]

[edit] Grant of limited immunity to testify

On April 25, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee voted 32-6 to grant her immunity, surpassing the required 2/3 majority, and immediately authorized a subpoena. [12] Her attorney, John M. Dowd, is a partner in a major Washington law firm who attended Emory Law School.[13]

In early May 2007, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility was reported to be investigating whether Goodling violated federal law in making "hiring decisions on assistant U.S. attorneys based on party affiliation."[14] Initially, commentators speculated that Justice Department officials could try to bar Goodling's testimony to the House committee, on the grounds that it might interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation. However, the Justice Department subsequently agreed not to contest the congressional grant of immunity.[15]

On May 11, 2007, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Thomas Hogan signed an order granting Goodling immunity in exchange for her truthful testimony in the U.S. Attorney firings investigation, stating that "Goodling may not refuse to testify, and may not refuse to provide other information, when compelled to do so" before the Committee.[16] On May 12, the New York Times published an article about Monica Goodling repeatedly engaging in “prohibited personnel practices” while at the Justice Department. “You have a Monica problem” several Justice Department officials told Robin C. Ashton, a seasoned criminal prosecutor at the Department of Justice. “She believes you’re a Democrat and doesn’t feel you can be trusted.”[17]

[edit] House Judiciary committee hearing

Goodling appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, on May 23, 2007, under a limited immunity agreement, and provided to the committee a written statement that she read at the start of her testimony.[18][19] In response to questions during the hearing, Goodling stated that she "crossed the line" and broke civil service laws about hiring, and improperly weighed political factors in considering applicants for career positions at the Department of Justice.[20] [21] Link to Washington Post transcript of the hearing.

[edit] Role in other DOJ controversies

On May 7, 2007, National Journal's Inside Washington column reported that it was Monica Goodling who ordered drapes to be placed over the partially nude Art Deco statues (Spirit of Justice) in the Justice Department's Great Hall during Ashcroft's tenure as Attorney General. At the time, the department spent $8,000 on blue drapes to hide the two giant, aluminum statues, according to spokesman Shane Hix. The coverings were removed in 2005.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Lieberman, Brett. "Who is Monica Goodling?", The Patriot News, March 30, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lipton, Eric. "Colleagues Cite Partisan Focus by Justice Official", New York Times, May 12, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  3. ^ Cooperman, Alan. "Bush Loyalist Rose Quickly at Justice", Washington Post, March 30, 2007, p. A15. Retrieved on 2007-04-26. 
  4. ^ Wass, Murray. "Secret Order By Gonzales Delegated Extraordinary Powers To Aides", National Journal, National Journal Group, Inc., 2007-04-30. Retrieved on 2007-05-09. 
  5. ^ Internal Document Granting Personnel Hiring Authority to DoJ Aides (via Talking Points Memo, May 9, 2007.) Retrieved May 10, 2007.
         Alberto Gonzales, Office of the Attorney General. Order 2808-2006. Delegation of certain personnel authorities to the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General and to the White House Liaison of the Department of Justice. March 1, 2006.
  6. ^ a b c "Who is Monica Goodling?", McClatchy Newspapers, March 29, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-26. 
  7. ^ Dan Eggen. "Gonzales Met With Top Aides On Firings: Papers Appear to Contradict Denial", Washington Post, March 24, 2007, p. A01. 
  8. ^ Letter from Goodling's attorneys to Senator Patrick Leahy, Judiciary Committee, March 24, 2007
  9. ^ Dan Eggen. "Gonzales's Senior Counselor Refuses to Testify", Washington Post, March 26, 2007. 
 10. ^ Transcript: FBI Director Robert Mueller at Senate Judiciary Committee; March 27, 2007
 11. ^ Jordan, Lara Jakes. "Gonzales aide Goodling resigns", Associated Press, 2007-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-04-07. 
 12. ^ Gonzales aide gets immunity
 13. ^ John Dowd bio
 14. ^ "Former Gonzales aide under investigation", Daily India, May 2, 2007. 
 15. ^ Appuzo, Matt. "Goodling Granted Immunity in DOJ Probe", Associated Press, 2007-05-11. Retrieved on 2007-05-16. 
 16. ^ Order Granting Monica Goodling immunity. Gonzales Watch (2007-05-11). Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
 17. ^ Lipton, Eric. "Colleagues Cite Partisan Focus by Justice Official", The New York Times, 2007-05-12. Retrieved on 2007-05-13. 
 18. ^ Dan, Eggen, Carol D. Leonnig. "Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide", Washington Post, May 23, 2007, pp. A04. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 
 19. ^ Goodling, Monica. "Remarks of Monica Goodling before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives", Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, May 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 
 20. ^ Stout, David. "Ex-Gonzales Aide Testifies, ‘I Crossed the Line’", New York Times, May 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 
 21. ^ Congressional Quarterly, Transcipts Wire. "Goodling Testifies Before The House Judiciary Committee", Washington Post, May 23, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 

[edit] Links

   * Transcript of Monica M. Goodling's May 23, 2007 testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives Congressional Quarterly via The Washington Post, May 23, 2007.
   * Goodling's donation to the 2004 election campaign of George W. Bush at Fundrace.org
   * Washington Post article on Goodling
   * Archived copy of Goodling's Regent University website, circa 1997
   * Ranking of Law Schools by US News & World Report (2007)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_Goodling"

Categories: 1973 births | Living people | American lawyers | United States Department of Justice | George W. Bush administration controversies | Dismissal of United States Attorneys controversy

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