Civil Rights Report Release Timed with Holder Hearings?
Timing is everything.
According to the first page of the Justice Department report released earlier today, the report — which finds that Bradley Schlozman, former U.S. attorney and head of the Civil Rights Division, broke federal law — was completed and referred to the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution months in March when the investigation was completed. The OIG’s report was completed by July.
It wasn’t until Friday — Jan. 9 — that the U.S. attorney’s office informed the Office of the Inspector General that they were not planning on prosecuting Schlozman for “considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division.”
The reports debut seems to carry special, or at least highly coincidental timing: it comes just two days before the Senate Judiciary’s confirmation hearings on Eric Holder, tapped by President-elect Barack Obama for Attorney General.
The report, which exposes Schlozman’s conservative cronyism, lies to Congress and general destruction of the Civil Rights Division, highlights the gong show the Department of Justice became in the last eight years. It sets the tone for the hearings, showing how desperately the DOJ needs a competent, non-political and experienced leader. Will Holder prove that he is? Holder will be asked a litany of questions on Thursday, but that’s the one to always keep in mind.
*This post initially stated that the report was referred to the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution n July. Rather, the report was finished in July, but the referral took place in March 2008.