Rachel Paulose is the United States Attorney for Minnesota. She is also my friend. She has served as United States Attorney since March 2006. She was confirmed by the Senate in December 2006 and held a ceremonial investiture that I attended in March of this year. I wrote about her confirmation in “Success at an early age” and about her investiture in “Ms. Paulose moves into the gap.”
Since April of this year Rachel has suffered a torrent of abuse. The first knock on her was that her investitute was too elaborate, a story that I discussed in “Bob McNaney, problem reporter: A case study” and in a related footnote. Then the office’s first assistant, two division heads and one non-attorney supervisor resigned their management positions as some kind of protest, an event which I discussed in “A feeding frenzy close to home.” According to the New York Times story, the resignations protested Rachel’s “ideologically driven and dictatorial managerial style.”
The Bush administration’s United States Attorney firings non-scandal roughly coincided with these events. As the local left-wing weekly City Pages helpfully reminds us in its “timeline for a timebomb,” Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison extracted this bombshell from Monica Goodling in congressional testimony addressing the non-scandal:
Ellison: Did Rachel Paulose’s political affiliation play any role in her hiring?
Goodling: Yes, it did.
Ellison: And that would be that she was a Republican?
Last month Rachel returned to the news in connection with this report by former Star Tribune staffer Eric Black:
The federal Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Rachel Paulose, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, mishandled classified information, decided to fire the subordinate who called it to her attention, retaliated against others in the office who crossed her, and made racist remarks about one employee.
The allegations also undermine the claim, which was put out for public consumption in April, that four top supervisory officials in the office had voluntarily stepped down to lower positions because of differences with Paulose over management style. The highest ranking of those four, former First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, resigned after learning that Paulose was about to dump him. Marti, who remains in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney, also declined to discuss the matter.
(Emphasis in original.)
I know nothing about the substance of the charges other than what has been reported by Black and want to comment on them only briefly. First, John Marti is certainly the primary source of the charges in issue and he may well be the only source. (Black says that “Marti declined to discuss the matter,” but Marti or someone close to him is clearly Black’s source.) Second, Marti’s key charge — that Rachel retaliated against him, or was about to retaliate against him, for some nefarious reason — tends to conflict with a letter signed by Marti and previously leaked to the Star Tribune. As Dan Browning noted in his Star Tribune story on the charges:
Citing sources familiar with the investigation, Black wrote [on September 18] that Marti only resigned from his management job after learning that Paulose was going to remove him.
But that seems at odds with an April 27 letter that Marti, Mozangue, Lackner and Anderson sent to Paulose. In the letter, which was leaked anonymously at the time to the Star Tribune, the employees complained about media reports that, they said, had erroneously implied that they had resigned their management jobs “based on bias and animus.”
The employees did not deny that they had resigned voluntarily, but rather, asked Paulose to set the record straight about “our actions.”
Although the April 27 letter tends to belie Marti’s charge that his resignation was anything but voluntary, Black simply omits any reference to it.
Black relates one other charge against Rachel that seems to me absurd on its face, though perfectly calculated to damage her reputation:
Paulose allegedly denigrated one employee of the office, using the terms