U.S. Attorneys Offices

Joseph Russoniello Joe Russoniello Cooley Godward Kronish Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgYesterday we passed along the rumor that Joseph Russoniello, of Cooley Godward Kronish in San Francisco, would be returning to a post he held years ago: U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.
We remain fairly confident in this tip. But for the record, there is nothing official to report just yet. Mr. Russoniello kindly got back to us, but only to advise that he has no comment at this time and can neither confirm nor deny that he has been offered the U.S. Attorney position.
Meanwhile, our friends over at Legal Pad picked up on our post. Check out their analysis, in which they refer to Russoniello as “the frontrunner” per “conventional wisdom,” by clicking here.
Russoniello Takes the U.S. Attorney Gig? [Legal Pad / Cal Law]
Earlier: Musical Chairs: A New U.S. Attorney for San Francisco?

Joseph Russoniello Joe Russoniello Cooley Godward Kronish Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid.jpgVeteran litigator Joseph Russoniello, of Cooley Godward Kronish in San Francisco, was recently rumored to be a contender for the post of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.
We’re now hearing that the job — which Russoniello previously held, from 1982 to 1990 — may be his once again. From a tipster:

I have on good authority that Joe Russoniello was offered and accepted the US attorney position for the N. District of CA. I don’t think its been announced yet.

If Russoniello does get the job, it would be very “Fred Fielding”-esque: bring back an elder statesman, from the Reagan Administration, with impeccable credentials. At least the Dems won’t be able to give him a hard time over a lack of prosecutorial experience.
We’ve contacted Joseph Russoniello, but we haven’t heard back from him yet. We’ll let you know if and when he gets back to us.
P.S. We’re sad that the fabulous Eumi Choi apparently didn’t get the nod.
Who’d Want This Job, Anyway? [National Law Journal via Law.com (subscription)]
Joseph P. Russoniello bio [Cooley Godward Kronish]
U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan Announced Departure [U.S. Attorney's Office (Northern District of California)]

Michael Elston DOJ Justice Department Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgGuess the Durham district attorney isn’t the only prominent government lawyer named Mike (and embroiled in controversy) to announce his resignation on this Friday afternoon.
Has the U.S. Attorney firing controversy claimed another victim? Maybe (assuming he’s not leaving for other reasons). From the AP:

A senior Justice Department official who helped carry out the dismissals of federal prosecutors said Friday he is resigning.

Mike Elston, chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice official to leave after being linked to the dismissals of the prosecutors….

Elston is taking a job with a law firm in the Washington area, according to the statement.

We told you to expect some high-level departures from the DOJ. Anyone know where Elston is headed?
P.S. Oh, and here’s the latest in the U.S. Attorney affair: the news that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will also be investigated.
(Gavel bang: commenters here and here.)
Official Close to Attorney Firings Quits [Associated Press via Washington Post]
Gonzales Meeting With Aide Scrutinized [Washington Post]

Harriet Miers Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGWe recently got to meet former White House counsel Harriet Miers, up close and personal. And it seems we’re not the only folks who will get to spend quality time with the onetime (and ill-fated) Supreme Court nominee.
This just in, from the AP:

Two congressional committees are issuing subpoenas for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor on their roles in the firings of eight federal prosecutors, according to two officials familiar with the investigation….

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont issued Taylor’s subpoena for her testimony July 11. His counterpart in the House, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan, issued a subpoena for Miers’ testimony the next day.

A little bit more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Harriet Miers: Her Date With Destiny”

Department of Justice official Brad Schlozman — who currently serves as Associate Counsel to the Director, in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys — is about to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony is part of a panel entitled “Preserving Prosecutorial Independence: Is the Department of Justice Politicizing the Hiring and Firing of U.S. Attorneys?”
Maybe we’ll tune in, at least for a few minutes; but we don’t expect to watch the entire proceedings. Brad Schlozman is no Monica Goodling. And we can barely pronounce his last name.
On Friday night, in preparation for today’s session, the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) sent the Republican members of the committee a list of proposed “softball” or friendly questions for Schlozman. This question caught our eye:
Ty Clevenger Regent University Law Review Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
Clevenger, you may recall, has raised allegations about the politicization of hiring at Main Justice. But he may be best known to ATL readers as a source for stories about that delicious DOJ diva, Shanetta Cutlar (about whom we’ve heard nothing new, sadly).
By the way, in case you’re wondering, question #5 wasn’t well-received by GOP staffers on Capitol Hill. We hear that the Republican staffers “are offended that DOJ expects them to do its political dirty work.”

Monica Goodling 4 Monica M Goodling sexy pose Above the Law blog.jpgThose of you who read our extensive liveblogging of Monica Goodling’s testimony on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee know how deeply impressed we were.
Goodling was poised, intelligent, and articulate. She showed flashes of wit, as well as consistent honesty and forthrightness. She looked like a million bucks.
On a scale of 0 to 10, we’d score Monica Goodling’s performance on Capitol Hill as a 9.3. It wasn’t a perfect 10; Rep. Artur Davis landed a few punches in the eleventh round. But Monica “Hurts So” Goodling ultimately emerged victorious from the boxing ring of the Rayburn House Office Building, with barely a glove laid on her.
We weren’t alone in our assessment. Distinguished legal commentators, including law professors like Orin Kerr and Adam Gershowitz, also raved over La Goodling’s star turn.
And this morning, via Howard Bashman, we come across more praise of Goodling, from an unlikely source. Check out this great online essay (registration required), by Eve Fairbanks of The New Republic — no bastion of conservatism.
Discussion continues after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Monica Goodling: They Like Her, They Really Like Her”

Monica Goodling 5 Monica M Goodling Monica Marie Goodling Above the Law blog.jpgWe have to step away from our computer now, to go meet our running group. We are training for the New York City marathon. If you’d like to support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation to fund cancer research, which is almost as worthy a cause as the Monica Goodling Legal Defense Fund, please click here.
This means we’re going to miss the last ten minutes or so of Monica Goodling’s testimony. If anything insane happens, please note it in the comments, or email us.
Also, we’re not the only ones who were impressed by Goodling’s performance today. Distinguished legal analysts concur in our assessment that La Monica acquitted herself very well before the House Judiciary Committee.
By way of example, check out these posts at two leading law blogs:

1. Monica Goodling’s Testimony [Volokh Conspiracy (Prof. Orin Kerr)]

2. Rounding Out My Monica Goodling Obsession [PrawfsBlawg (Prof. Adam Gershowitz)]

Sorry, Monica haters. The experts have weighed in. You lose.
Have a nice day!

Monica Goodling pool picture Monica M Goodling Above the Law blog.jpgThis is a continuation of our earlier post, in which we kicked off our liveblogging of the Monica Goodling testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
11:00: Some friendly questioning from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Ranking Republican Member of the Judiciary Committee. We once sat next to him at a dinner party; he’s a very nice man.
11:05: Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) is a style nightmare. White blazer, red tank-toppy-looking blouse. Congresswoman Sanchez: this is the United States Congress, not a July 4th booze cruise.
11:07: In terms of her demeanor, Goodling is not going down the diva route. She’s very polite and helpful, interspersing her remarks with self-effacing or nervous smiles. It seems that she’s trying to be as forthcoming as possible as a witness.
Discussion resumes after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “All Hail the Queen: Monica Goodling on Capitol Hill (Part 2)”

Monica Goodling 5 Monica M Goodling Monica Gooding Alberto Gonzales Above the Law blog.jpgWe have a new favorite catchphrase: “You have a Monica problem.” We’ve added it to our favorite quotations, and we may put it in our email signature file, too.
As explained here, the words “You have a Monica problem” were typically uttered to Justice Department job applicants whose credentials might be deemed insufficiently conservative by Monica Goodling — the uber-powerful ex-DOJ official who played a key role in hiring.
But these days, “You have a Monica problem” might also apply to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. From Jason McClure of the Legal Times:

Now it’s all about Monica.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales emerged mostly unscathed from last week’s face-off with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee over his role in the U.S. attorney firings….

But there’s one big wild card that’s yet to be thrown into play, and that’s Monica Goodling, Gonzales’ former White House liaison.

If you don’t share our Monica obsession, you can stop reading here. But if you find her as fascinating as we do, there’s more after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Alberto Gonzales Has ‘A Monica Problem’”

Paul McNulty Paul J McNulty Above the Law blog.jpegFor departure. For Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, his last day at the Department of Justice will be in not-too-distant future. He announced his intention to resign earlier today.
But he won’t be leaving the DOJ as abruptly as, say, Monica Goodling. He’ll stick around for a few more months:

McNulty, who has served 18 months as the Justice Department’s second-in-command, announced his plans at a closed-door meeting of U.S. attorneys in San Antonio, according to two senior department aides. He said he will remain at the department until this fall or until the Senate approves a successor, the aides said.

(It’s nice to know that we were actually right about something. But then again, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.)
Justice Department Official Resigning, Aides Say [Associated Press]
Earlier: Paul McNulty: On His Way Out?

Page 8 of 161...456789101112...16