I can defend her exercise of her Fifth Amendment rights. McNulty threw her under the bus by telling Schumer that his (McNulty’s) inaccurate statement to the Committee was caused by Goodling’s incomplete brief of him on the issues. So, I wouldn’t wander into a Senate Comm. meeting not knowing all of what McNulty has said, and I wouldn’t go back to DOJ to work for McNulty under similar circumstances. McNulty spent more than a decade working for Dick Armey on the Hill, so she’d be fighting on his turf if it came down to a swearing contest between the two of them.
But, what I can’t defend about Monical Goodling is the not inconsequential fact that she even had a job on the Staff of the AG to begin with. As I said in a post earlier, “Who the heck is Monica Goodling”
Well, I googled around and found answers that I can’t believe – except, given some of my own experiences, I do believe them.
Goodling, 33, is a 1995 graduate Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., an institution that describes itself as “committed to an embracing evangelical spirit.”
She received her law degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. Regent, founded by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, says its mission is “to produce Christian leaders who will make a difference, who will change the world.”
Ok — lets break this down.
Goodling is 33. She graduated from a small evangelical Christian college in Pennsylvania in 1995 — at the age of 22.
She then attended a law school that is part of Regent University, created by Pat Robertson. Presumably she enrolled in 1995 and graduated in 1998. But when she resigned today from the Justice Dept., it ended her five year stint there. That means she began working there no later than 2002 — only 4 years after graduating from law school — when she was only 28. I haven’t found any info on what employment she had been 1998 and 2001 — although I did find a reference to her working for the GOP National Committee leading up to the 2000 election.
This year the incoming class at Regent was only 161 students. I imagine it was somewhat smaller a decade ago when she enrolled. That’s pretty small.
More troubling is the fact that the 156 of the 161 students in this year’s class scored between the 25th and 75th percentile on the LSAT — hardly the cream of the crop.
Goodling didn’t start at Regent Law School — she spent one year at American University Law School in DC, but while American is an OK school, its certainly not a top tier school.
And, in looking briefly through the faculty of Regent, I’d estimate that one in five are Regent Law School grads, so there is not a lot of intellectual diversity. You also see a lot of faculty members with theological backgrounds, and you see a lot of small Christian undergrad schools listed among the undergraduate institutions attended by the current law school attendees. So, its an institution that caters to a particular pool of applicants, not simply the best possible candidates for admission.
It appears that Goodling rode into the Dept. as part of AG Ashcroft’s “staff of faith”, starting in the Public Affairs unit, and then moving up until she landed on the AG Ashcroft’s staff, where she remained after Gonzales took over.
Frankly, the description of her involvement in assisting in the selection of US Attorneys who should go/stay (reports have her involved in looking into Iglesias’ shortcomings, while defending the US Attorney for the WDNC, saying “there are others who should go first”) really trouble me. She’s just not someone who I think by background or experience should be making any judgments about the performance of US Attorneys around the country. She has no experience as a prosecutor — or any litigating job in DOJ. She is the embodiment of the term “political hack”, and she was given the opportunity to have substantive input on the job performance of prosecutors who would run her over in court.
Its also curious that she has retained John Dowd of Akin Gump to represent her. He only costs about a million dollars an hour. I don’t expect that Goodling was making much more than $100,000 a year, so someone else is picking up Dowd’s fees.
Update on 4/10 — A reader has communicated that Goodling worked for 2 years as a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, though he can’t provide an independent confirmation. He met Goodling in the past, and says she told him that.
While I’m happy to post this information, it appears that it overstates her employment there somewhat. There is a WaPo profile of her — which she declined to provide info for – saying she received her JD from Regent in 1999, and went to work for the RNC after graduating. She later moved to the DOJ Press Office. Dan Corrallo, the head of the Press Office under Ashcroft confirmed this in another article I read. This article also says she spent 6 months in the US Attorney’s Office for the EDVA as a Special Assistant US Attorney. That would be a temporary position, and could be for any number of tasks. It appears that she was in the Executive Office of US Attorneys for at time before that, which is the administrative arm of the US Attorneys, so I don’t suspect she went to the EDVA as a prosecutor.