Posted May 03, 2007 09:52 pm CDT
In testimony today before a U.S. House judiciary committee investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, a former top Justice Department attorney praised all but one of them.
Jim Comey, who was number two in the department when he served as deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2005, said only one of the eight U.S. attorneys allegedly fired in a political purge was considered a weak manager, reports the Wall Street Journal (Sub. Req.). That one weak manager, according to Comey, was Kevin Ryan, the former U.S. attorney in San Francisco, “a fine guy – he just had management problems in that office.” The seven others, he said, were doing their jobs well.
Comey, who now works as in-house counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp., also testified that he knew of internal Justice Department discussions about whether Monica Goodling had illegally taken political party affiliation into account when hiring career prosecutors. Goodling, who formerly served as senior counsel and White House liaison for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is reportedly being investigated by the Justice Department concerning that issue.