Monica Gone

Brian Zick

Atrios and Josh Marshall report that Monica Goodling has resigned from the Justice Department. update: Lara Jakes Jordan for AP reports The Justice Department confirmed the resignation in a letter to two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the firings. Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty had removed themselves from any personnel decisions related to Goodling, according to the letter from Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Hertling. Their recusals were designed to "ensure that no actual or apparent conflict of interest would arise with respect to Ms. Goodling or related matters," Hertling wrote. Goodling's resignation came less than two weeks before Gonzales' own planned testimony to the Senate, which may determine his fate as attorney general. Several Republican lawmakers have joined Democrats in calling for his resignation or dismissal over the firings and other blunders at the Justice Department. Justice Department documents show Goodling attended numerous meetings over a year's time about the plans to fire the U.S. attorneys and corresponded with the White House and at least one of the ousted prosecutors before the dismissals were ordered. (…) Additionally, Goodling was among aides who on Feb. 5 helped McNulty prepare his testimony for a Senate hearing the next day — during which he may have given Congress incomplete or otherwise misleading information about the circumstances of the firings. (…) But Democrats said Goodling's resignation would not end their pursuit of her testimony. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., "remains committed to questioning Monica Goodling, especially with this new development," said spokeswoman Melanie Roussell. "Her involvement and general knowledge of what happened makes her a valuable piece to this puzzle."

Brandon Johnson
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