Goodling Will Testify, Schlozman Invited to Do So

Lining up potential witnesses in the ongoing Congressional investigation of alleged politically motivated firing of prosecutors and hiring of career attorneys at the Justice Department, legislators both called a new witness on Monday and apparently locked in the testimony of another they had been pursuing for some time.

Monica Goodling, a former White House liaison and senior aide to U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales, will testify if given immunity as planned, according to her lawyer, John M. Dowd, reports AP. “She’ll be honest and clear and she’ll work very hard to answer all questions.” Dowd said Monday. A letter from the U.S. Justice Department to the House Judiciary Committee said officials there would not oppose the immunity grant.

Meanwhile, a new figure surfaced in the investigation: Bradley Schlozman, a former U.S. attorney and senior civil rights attorney in the Justice Department who now handles sentencing matters and cybercrime in an office there responsible for supervising all 93 U.S. attorneys. A bipartisan group of Senate Judiciary Committee members sent a letter to the department Monday seeking his testimony, according to a spokesperson for Committee Chair Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. An earlier post discusses a Boston Globe profile of Schlozman and his legal career.

The investigation had initially focused on whether eight U.S. attorneys were fired as part of a political purge, but has now expanded to include possible politicizing of Justice Department hiring of career attorneys. It is customary for a president not to fire U.S. attorneys, once hired, but it is potentially illegal to hire career prosecutors based on their party affiliation as Goodling reportedly is being investigated for possibly having done.

A separate post discusses whether the U.S. attorney that Schlozman replaced should be added to a list of eight U.S. attorneys allegedly fired as part of a political purge.

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