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The rule of thumb in Washington is the longer your title, the less important you are. Not so for William Moschella, who’s taken over as the new principal associate deputy attorney general at the Justice Department. Known internally as the PADAG, Moschella has become the right-hand man to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and will have a large role in the day-to-day management of the DOJ. For the past three years, Moschella, 38, has served as Justice’s top congressional liaison. In that role, he helped shepherd some significant pieces of legislation, such as the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act and the passage of the 2004 intelligence reform bill. Moschella also weathered some difficult moments, such as last spring’s spat between House leaders and the DOJ over the FBI’s raid of the offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) and the failed nomination of Timothy Flanigan as deputy attorney general in 2005. Like McNulty, Moschella has never served as a line prosecutor and spent much of his career working as a staffer and lawyer to House Republicans. Nevertheless, he says his time as the DOJ’s congressional liaison has prepared him for the job. “Legislative affairs is involved in just about every hot issue,” he says. Moschella replaces William Mercer, who recently became acting associate attorney general, the department’s No. 3 position.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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