Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Goodling Says Deputy Attorney General Misled Congress


Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty knew about extensive White House involvement in the firings of U.S. attorneys before he provided inaccurate information about the issue to Congress, a former senior Justice aide testified this morning.

Monica M. Goodling, speaking publicly for the first time about her role in the prosecutor firings, also said McNulty urged her not to attend a private Senate briefing, saying that her status as White House liaison would raise questions among lawmakers about possible White House involvement in the dismissals.

"I believe the deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of the White House's involvement," Goodling testified at the House Judiciary Committee, which has granted her immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony.

The statements from Goodling, a former senior counselor to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, provides dramatic new evidence of the growing rifts between current and former Justice officials involved in the firings. The testimony also provides another serious challenge for McNulty, who announced last week that he was resigning later this summer.

McNulty and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General William E. Moschella have told lawmakers that both of them felt misled by Goodling, who participated in briefings prior to testimony that each of them provided in February and March.....

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