The Plank

It's The Hacks, Stupid

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The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last argues that the real attorney scandal isn't a matter of political corruption (I'm not so sure) but rampant hackery (I totally agree). He focuses on the case of Monica "Taking the Fifth" Goodling:

Goodling's background is curious. Now 33, she graduated from Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school, in 1995. After a year at the American University Washington College of Law, she enrolled at Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School in 1996 - the year it received full accreditation from the American Bar Association. She graduated from Regent in 1999. That November, Goodling went to work for the Republican National Committee as a junior research analyst in the opposition research shop. When her boss, Barbara Comstock, left the RNC to head the Office of Public Affairs in the Ashcroft Justice Department, Goodling went with her.
After spending two years in Public Affairs, Goodling was detailed to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for a two-year stint in order to get the "field experience" typically required for the attorney general counsel's job. She served only six months....
According to my research, Goodling was the lead attorney on three felony cases while at EDVA. All three ended in plea agreements; none was of particular importance. To give a sense of the magnitude of her work, the highest-level defendant was sentenced to four months in jail; the other two were given three years of supervised release - one of these also received a $100 special assessment. Nevertheless, upon her return to Justice, Goodling assumed the senior counsel and White House liaison posts. So much for the best and the brightest.

Of course, TNR has been on the Bush hacks beat for some time now....

--Michael Crowley

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