Delayed justice

DELAYED JUSTICE…. I have to admit, I always find it heartening to see professionals who were screwed over by Bush’s corrupt Justice Department get recompense from the Obama administration.

A career prosecutor whose promotion to Main Justice was quashed by Monica Goodling during the Bush years has been nominated to be a U.S. Attorney, in President Obama’s latest reversal of a politicized decision of the Bush Justice Department.

William Hochul, who has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York for nearly 20 years, was nominated to be a U.S. Attorney last week after a recommendation from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Hochul was poised to be appointed to a top counterterrorism detail in 2006 when Goodling, the DOJ’s White House liaison, intervened because Hochul’s wife was active in Democratic politics.

An internal DOJ investigation of Goodling reported in 2008 that “notwithstanding the candidate’s outstanding qualifications,” she “refused to allow the candidate to be detailed to [the counterrorism job] solely on the basis of his wife’s political party affiliation.”

The lawyer who got the job Hochul sought was a loyal, inexperienced Republican. But Hochul was married to a Democrat, and in the Bush era, that meant “no job for you.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Obama’s team make amends. Remember Leslie Hagen?

Hagen seemed to be exactly the kind of lawyer the Bush gang would want around. She was a respected lawyer, she had impeccable credentials as a Republican, and her performance evaluations at the Justice Department were outstanding. And yet, in October 2006, Hagen was told her contract with the administration would not be renewed. Apparently, Monica Goodling had heard a rumor about Hagen’s sexual orientation.

That, apparently, was enough. As one Republican official at the DoJ conceded, for some Bush political appointees, being gay is “even worse than being a Democrat.” The Justice Department’s inspector general investigated and found that Hagen was, in fact, passed over based on nothing more than office rumors about being a lesbian. Worse, Goodling, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s college, blocked Hagen from being considered from any position, at any level, in the Justice Department.

Fortunately, the Obama administration did right by Hagen, and rehired her to the Department in February.

There was also Daniel Bogden once described by James Comey as “straight as a Nevada highway,” and his performance records showed him to be a highly regarded U.S. Attorney by the federal judiciary. That, apparently, was a problem — Karl Rove and Bush’s Justice Department expected him to politicize his office. When the U.S. Attorney chose instead to do his job properly, he was fired, despite being a Republican.

This year, Obama brought him back as a U.S. Attorney.