At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, former interim U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman refused to take responsibility for his role in the politicization of the Department of Justice. Schlozman, who headed the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ before being appointed interim U.S. Attorney for Western Missouri, battled memory lapses while revealing that he may have bragged about the number of Republican lawyers he hired, and presented flimsy excuses in the face of other allegations.
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:
“The fact that a career prosecutor like Todd Graves was fired to make room for a political operative like Schlozman shows just how dire things are at the DOJ. Instead of owning up to his actions, Schlozman simply passed the buck or feigned ignorance at every opportunity. That’s not the kind of law enforcement our nation needs.
“As U.S. Attorney he filed election related charges immediately before an election in violation of the DOJ policy, but today tried to pass the blame to a career official. As head of the Civil Rights Division, he didn’t investigate the disenfranchisement of Native Americans in Minnesota, but today made the ludicrous claim that this was just one of thousands of complaints that they were apparently too busy to fully investigate—even though it came directly from the state’s U.S. Attorney.
Senators Leahy, Feinstein, Feingold, Schumer and Whitehouse pushed hard to get the truth from the witness, but like his former boss, Schlozman has cast his lot with evasion and half truths. Schlozman should join in the growing exodus of high level appointees leaving the Department of Justice, and he should take Alberto Gonzales with him.”