"It was wrong of me. There are no excuses"

White House official Timothy Goeglein admits that he plagiarized a large section of a recent newspaper column he wrote.

Published February 29, 2008 7:54PM (EST)

Friday morning, Timothy Goeglein, a special assistant to President Bush and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, admitted that he plagiarized a lengthy portion of a recent column he wrote for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

"It is true," Goeglein wrote. "I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses."

Goeglein's admission comes after blogger Nancy Nall alleged that he had lifted entire passages of the column from a 1998 Dartmouth Review article by Jeffrey Hart. Goeglein told the News-Sentinel's readers that he had already written to Hart "to apologize, and do so categorically and without exception."

Goeglein has been a member of the White House staff since 2001. A 2004 profile in the New York Times described Goeglein and his position in the White House this way: "Mr. Goeglein, a slender, pink-cheeked 40-year-old Midwesterner who looks about half his age, is the official White House liaison to conservatives and to Christian groups. He is Mr. Rove's legman on the right." Jim Vanderhei, in a profile for the Washington Post in 2004, summarized Goeglein's responsibilities more succinctly: "It is Goeglein's job to make sure conservatives are happy, in the loop and getting their best ideas before the president and turned into laws."

According to Paul Keil at Talking Points Memo, the News-Sentinel's editor has announced that he will look into whether any of Goeglein's previous columns also contain plagiarized passages. However, some readers at Nall's blog have already initiated an investigation of their own.

Correction: This post originally cited the newspaper Goeglein wrote the column for as the Journal Gazette. We regret the error.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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