Conservative job applicants to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division were deemed “good Americans” and “real Americans” by the former head of the division, Bradley Schlozman, according to a report released to the public last week by Justice’s two watchdogs. Applicants with Democratic leanings or actual civil rights experience, on the other hand, were, in Schlozman’s vocabulary, “crazy libs.”
Authored by Inspector General Glenn Fine and Office of Professional Responsibility chief H. Marshall Jarrett, the report is the last in a series of four from an investigation into allegations of politicized hiring at the Justice Department.
The report’s 67 pages are strewn with politically charged and racially tinged comments found in e-mails and voicemails from Schlozman, and relayed by his former colleagues in their recollections of conversations with him. The investigation even suggests Schlozman perjured himself before a congressional committee probing the U.S. Attorney firings.
Fine and Jarrett referred their perjury findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia last March. The office declined to pursue a criminal prosecution on Jan. 9.
Schlozman served as a deputy, principal deputy, and acting head of the Civil Rights Division during the George W. Bush administration, and is presently of counsel at Hinkle Elkouri in Wichita, Kan.
In a statement, Schlozman’s lawyer, William Jordan of Alston & Bird‘s Atlanta office, said the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to drop the perjury investigation was evidence of the report’s bias and inaccuracy. What follows are some of the comments Schlozman made while a top official in the Justice Department.
“I too get to work with mold spores, but here in Civil Rights, we call them Voting Section Attorneys,” Schlozman wrote in a July 2003 e-mail exchange with a former colleague. “My tentative plans are to gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the section.”
Shanetta Cutlar, the Civil Division’s special litigation chief, told investigators that Schlozman minimized the importance of prior civil rights or human rights work when selecting front-runners for open positions. In this voicemail left for Cutlar in February 2006, Schlozman explains why that is: “[When] we start asking about, ‘what is your commitment to civil rights?’ … [H]ow do you prove that? Usually by membership in some crazy liberal organization or by some participation in some crazy cause. … Look, look at my resume — I didn’t have any demonstrated commitment, but I care about the issues. So, I mean, I just want to make sure we don’t start confining ourselves to, you know, politburo members because they happen to be a member of some, you know, psychopathic left-wing organization designed to overthrow the government.”
In a July 2006 e-mail to Monica Goodling, then senior counsel to the attorney general and White House liaison, Schlozman puts in a good word for a friend who interviewed with Goodling for a political position. Schlozman references the division’s former principal deputy assistant attorney general, Sheldon Bradshaw, who is now a partner at Hunton & Williams: “I can assure you that [the applicant] is a good American. [The applicant] and Sheldon Bradshaw and I (and [one] other person) made up a four-member Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy at my former law firm.”
In a June 2006 e-mail to a friend, Schlozman, then interim U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Missouri, compares his new job with his previous position in the Civil Rights Division:
It has been months since I felt the need to scream with a blood-curdling cry at some commie, partisan subordinate (i.e., most of the [Voting] section staff until recently). And I feel like the people I now work with are all complete professionals. What a weird change. Granted, these changes are nice in many respects, but bitch-slapping a bunch of [Division] attorneys really did get the blood pumping and was even enjoyable once in a while. I think now it’s all Good Cop for folks there. I much preferred the role of Bad Cop. … But perhaps the Division will name an award for me or something. How about the Brad Schlozman Award for Most Effectively Breaking the Will of Liberal Partisan Bureaucrats. I would be happy to come back for the awards ceremony.”
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