Tuesday, June 24, 2008


President Obama will have to deal with these people.

High-ranking political appointees at the Justice Department labored to stock a prestigious hiring program with young conservatives in a five-year-long attempt to reshape the department's ranks, according to an inspector general's report to be released today.

The report will trace the effort to 2002, early in the Bush administration, when key advisers to then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft moved to exert more control over the program to hire rookie lawyers and summer interns, according to two people familiar with the probe.


Critics in the department had argued that hundreds of high-quality applicants had been rejected because of their ties to left-leaning nonprofit groups or clerkships with Democratic judges and lawmakers, according to correspondence at the time. One Harvard Law School graduate said that when he applied for the honors program a few years ago he was warned by professors and fellow students to remove any liberal affiliations from his résumé.