The Schloz can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Justice Department has decided to uphold the Bush administration’s decision not to charge former Bush DOJ official Bradley Schlozman with perjury in connection with his testimony about politicized hiring at DOJ. The news was contained in a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to Sen. Chuck Schumer, which was obtained by TPMmuckraker.
See the letter here.
After careful examination of the evidence and the law, and upon consideration of other relevant prosecutorial factors, the Attorney General concluded that the United States Attorney’s decision was reasonable and should be afforded due deference. The Attorney General thus has decided that the decision to decline prosecution of Mr. Schlozman should not be disturbed.
A report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility found that Schlozman, who in 2006 served as acting head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights division, had violated rules against politicized hiring, and had lied to Congress about it when questioned under oath by Schumer.
But in January 2009, before President Bush left office, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Colmbia announced that Schlozman wouldn’t face charges. Soon after taking office, Attorney General Eric Holder initiated a review of that decision.
In the letter to Schumer, Weich adds:
As the Attorney General testified at his confirmation hearing, he was disturbed and dismayed by the conduct of Mr. Schlozman as detailed by the Final Report issued by the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility…The Attorney General firmly believes that providing false statements to Congress cannot and should not be tolerated and should, where provable
beyond a reasonable doubt, be prosecuted.
And Weich concludes:
To be clear, nothing in the Attorney General’s determination to sustain the United States Attorney’s decision should be construed as an endorsement of Mr. Schlozman’s improper hiring and personnel-related practices as described in the Final Report.
Schumer responded to the letter in a statement, declaring:
This is a very disappointing decision. Perjury is often a close call, but in this case it wasn’t. Mr. Schlozman was way over the line.