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What Happened at the Justice Department?24:43
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Monica Goodling didn't look like a storm trooper before the House Judiciary Committee. Didn't speak like one either, in her whispery opening responses.

But the 33-year-old former counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and liason to the White House finally said it straight up yesterday: she "crossed the line" in playing politics in Justice Department hiring. That's illegal.

And critics say it's more than that - a purge, a corruption of justice, a betrayal of American governing ideals.

This hour On Point: team building or a breach of faith and law at the Justice Department?

Quotes from the Show:

"At least she's [Monica Goodling] got a memory and didn't say I don't remember like the AG did." Douglas Iglesias

"I have no doubt what's going on right now is unprecedented." Douglas Iglesias

"It's a very bad thing to promote and hire [career attorneys] on partisan grounds." Mark Tushnet

"That's what happens when you get rid of career attorneys - you get a sense that everything is up for grabs." Dahlia Lithwick

"What have you haven't seen before is a purge of this sort." E. J. Dionne

Guests:

Mark Tushnet, professor of law at Harvard University

David Iglesias, fired U.S. Attorney from New Mexico

E.J. Dionne, columnist for the Washington Post, senior fellow at the Brooking's Institution

Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor editor and legal analyst for Slate

This program aired on May 24, 2007.

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