Within the first 10 minutes of her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this morning, Monica Goodling was already choking up. "I considered the people that I worked with to be my family. And I care about them deeply," said the 33-year-old former Justice Department liaison to the White House. "I have no desire to say anything negative about anyone that I worked with."
But of course, that was why she had come before Congress. That was why she had been given a grant of immunity against prosecution for her testimony. And so she spoke ill of those she had worked with.
Her first target was Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who has previously suggested that Goodling did not inform him about all the machinations behind the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
"Despite my and others' best effort, the deputy's public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects," Goolding said. "I believe the deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision."
Goodling accused McNulty of failing to disclose knowledge of the White House role in the selection of Tim Griffin as the interim U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas. She accused him of inaccurately describing the department's internal assessment of the Parsky Commission, a committee set up in California to find candidates for political appointments. Then she accused him of failing to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Griffin had been involved in vote caging, a potentially illegal effort to target blacks for voter challenges, during the 2004 campaign.
This all happened in the first 10 minutes of Goodling's testimony. There are many more hours to go.