Aides to former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wrongfully rejected potential U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) employees based on the candidates' politics, and may have unlawfully considered sexual orientation in making hiring decisions, a government probe has revealed.
The investigation concluded that, when asked to fill vacant DOJ positions -- including Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and Immigration Judge posts -- a number of aides to Gonzales improperly considered the candidates' political or ideological affiliations. In one instance, a senior aide stated that a potential AUSA hire "gave her pause because judging from his résumé he appeared to be a 'liberal Democrat,'" according to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility and DOJ Office of the Inspector General. The New York Times reports that one candidate was improperly rejected because his wife was active in Democratic politics, and another prosecutor was turned down in part because she was believed to be homeosexual. In a statement released Monday, current U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey declared that he was "disturbed" by the findings.