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  • THEY’RE MORE LIKE ‘GUIDELINES’: Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced today that former Justice Department officials like Monica Goodling will not face prosecution for hiring D.O.J. staffers based explicitly on their political views — i.e. how many awesome things they could say about Alberto Gonzalez in 20-second lightning round interviews. Mukasey’s statement came replete with a classic Bush Administration sound bite: “not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.” Ha ha, the top legal official in the country just said that “violation of the law” and “crime” are different. [AP]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

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  • MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend

    They taught me something different in law school. I demand a refund!

    Also wrong: Not every attorney general is a partisan hack.

  • el_chupacabra

    Can I site that during my upcoming public urination case?

  • TGY

    “not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.”

    Mrrrgggggggghhh…ahh…grr..containing rage…barely…Can Hopey issue the equivalent of an ‘anti-pardon’ when he’s president?

  • shortsshortsshorts

    SWEET because I’ve been sitting on this bag of weed for tooooo long. Thank God I have such great role models for the law.

  • Godot

    “In this instance, the two joint reports found only violations of the civil service laws.”

    And those are like, pretend laws that don’t even count.

  • WhatTheHeck

    There is a distinct difference between an idiot and a moron.
    The Attorney General is both.

  • Fata Morgana

    Let’s face it: Monica Goodling is far too stupid and not nearly butch enough to survive in prison.

  • magic titty

    Sweet Jesus. He actually said that shit? This is like when Nixon said it’s never illegal if the President does it.
    Do we at least get to punch this whore Goodling in the balls?

    This country is so fucking disturbed I don’t know what to think anymore.

  • weirdiowasculpture

    Lying to Congress about anything = mere violation of the law
    Lying about getting blow job from intern = crime

    See the difference?

  • BadNewsJack

    “not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.”

    Well, then, if that’s the case, my fists unlawfully made contact with that police officer, but it’s not a crime.

  • TGY

    It’s amazing that the Bush administration is *still* able to step on my nerves. You’d think I’d be numb by now, but nooooooo. That takes talent.

  • itgetter

    I read that in a pirate voice. It didn’t make it any less sad.

  • tunamelt

    I wonder how he did on the analogies portion of the SAT.

  • Bandito

    Actually, the statement that “not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime” is correct. An example: “illegal” immigration.

  • WhatTheHeck

    [re=57528]magic titty[/re]:
    Get a hold of yourself, woman.
    This is what a dictatorship is all about.

    Carry on.

  • PrairiePossum

    Since this pronouncement is coming from the administration which has urinated on our Constitution over the past 8 years, I find nothing shocking about it.

  • S.Luggo

    Didn’t his predecessor-cum-Bush-houseboy say the same about the Geneva Convention and the Ten Commandments?

  • SayItWithWookies

    Wow. Michael Mukasey is to Alberto Gonzales as Tony Snow is to Scott McClellan. Just as evil, but smooth enough to leave you slack-jawed at his audacity.
    Oh, and can I get “Not evey violation of the law is a crime” embroidered on a pillow? Please?!

  • Vewol Mevemont

    Not the kill the snark, but there is a difference. A violation of civil laws is not a crime, which is a violation of criminal laws.

  • freakishlystrong


  • AnnieGetYourFun

    He also said they wouldn’t be firing the people who were hired for their fundamentalist credentials because those people didn’t do anything wrong. That’s good, because no unqualified employees who were hired under suspicious circumstances ever get laid off en masse during an overhaul of an organization. Not in ‘murica.

  • S.Luggo

    [re=57532]BadNewsJack[/re]: And this guy was a judge. His career must have been restricted to baby pageants.

  • StripesAndPlaids

    Fuck. How much longer do we have with these ass wipes?

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=57519]TGY[/re]: I an almost exhausted from 7+ years of outrage. I am all raged-out, so to speak. Every time one of these comes along, topping the prior one, I have to work a bit harder to be disgusted. They have almost anesthetized me with their evildoing. Sort of like the boiling frog. We are not going to notice when the Constitution is suspended and Dick Cheney is made Lord God and Sovereign.

  • TGY

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: Well, there should a lawsuit a-brewing, then. Since I’ve not heard of it, I presume Goodling is immune. If so, those are *Potemkin* laws like Potemkin villages. :p

  • Bandito

    [re=57549]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: I think at the least they should hire the people that were not hired for political reasons, and then hire Monica Goodling as their overworked, underpaid intern.

  • Jim Newell

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: Ha ha, indeed, but the way he said it was funny and sort of, well, patronizing.

    And yet the DoJ must have civil suits coming at them from all angles, for which there is only one answer: Congress must give retroactive immunity to the DoJ, because of the terrorists! Everyone was just freaking all the time!

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Does anyone know a song about Democrats pursuing this further amounting to November suicide? I’m drawing a blank.

  • valobama

    [re=57520]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: and they locked my black ass up for a suspended license!

  • freakishlystrong

    Gawd, give us the power to asterally project ourselves to January, I’ll even give up baby Jebus’s birthday, please?

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …can someone please tell me; what cereal box did these dip-shits find their law degrees?!?!?!

  • KevoTron

    [re=57536]tunamelt[/re]: nice one.

    [re=57530]weirdiowasculpture[/re]: The only crime relating to oral sex is not giving it or doing a shitty job. As Dan Savage says: If it doesn’t come standard with the purchase take it back to the dealership and trade it in.

  • freakishlystrong

    [re=57566]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: “Alpha-Bits”, they write the laws themselves…

  • spencer

    [re=57566]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: Regent University where they teach law from a biblical perspective. Which I’m pretty sure means we can throw rocks at each other.

  • V572625694

    [re=57543]SayItWithWookies[/re]: T-shirts, at the least.

  • magic titty

    [re=57539]WhatTheHeck[/re]: I’m a man. I’m an Anchorman!
    But otherwise, yes, I agree.

  • Serolf Divad

    “Not every violation of the law is a crime…”

    Have we just stumbled upon the pickup line most used by Republican members of congress on their under-aged male pages?

    Yes, I think we have.

  • lumpenprole

    Someone’s working too hard. Just tell us that she was obeying the secret laws that no one is allowed to talk about.

  • Guppy06

    Butbutbut… if nobody is prosecuted, how can Dear Leader issue not-a-pardon commutations to the faithful? Or does the statute of limitations expire before the end of January?

  • walnuts4brkfst

    Is he for serious? Reallies?

  • magic titty

    [re=57543]SayItWithWookies[/re]: I believe it’s written in the fine print on hospital rape kits.

  • NotNotLickingToads

    [re=57566]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: Goodling? Regent University Law School, a fine fourteenth tier institution located in Virginia Beach, VA. Clearly a solid educational foundation for her work in the high echelons of the U.S. DOJ.

    She liked to hire out of Liberty University Law School, a fine institution with a long four-year history of arming bible thumpers with enough legal knowledge and credentials to let them REALLY fuck things up.

  • Cape Clod

    When the person who did the hiring takes the fifth when she testifies before Congress, doesn’t that make you a tad suspicious that something illegal was going on?

  • AngryBlakGuy

    [re=57570]spencer[/re]: …wouldn’t be so bad if we were able to stone everyone in this administration.

  • ManchuCandidate

    I seems to remember the outcry when some Hillbilly Preznit was lambasted for trying to define what the word IS means as the Press huffed and puffed about how awful it all was and won’t someone please think of the children? All for a blow job.

    On the other hand, politicizing the federal justice bureaucracy with Regent losers who’d rather spank it to the bible than read legal text is treated with the same sophistry and we get, meh.

    We have to sex this up!! Only way to build up outrage or what passes for it. I accuse Monica Goodling of giving Alberto Gonzales a Cleveland Steamer while they worked together at the DOJ. Don’t know if it’s true, but I would not be surprised either way.

  • tunamelt

    [re=57576]lumpenprole[/re]: Well, if that’s the case, maybe the government’s just going to put them on Double Secret Probation and we shouldn’t get involved.

  • The Station Manager

    Can we use this to revive the immortal “Definition Of ‘is'” fiasco? Because I wasn’t done with that one yet.

  • SuperRounder

    Ms. Goodling, a city packed with document review attorneys curses your name.

  • GlennBecksTaint

    What a fucking joke. Where’s the outrage, Bill O’Reilly?

  • AngryBlakGuy

    [re=57585]Cape Clod[/re]: …ding, ding, ding!!! You get a gold star on that one!

  • Not_So_Much

    He also believes waterboarding isn’t torture, so not a huge surprise…

    Utterly shameless, the whole friggin’ buncha them.

  • twowheeljunkie

    “illegal hiring practices”
    “not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime.”

    Typical Bush B.S. Like when he sings a bill into law and then states he will not follow the
    law he just signed

  • tsunami

    however, growing a fine crop of reefer for personal use is, sadly,
    still a crime.

  • EnBuenOra

    That is awesome. I have a court date from a traffic violation, and I’ll make sure and tell the judge about my theories of the law and its flexibility as interpretatorized by the Attorney General.

  • pondscum

    [re=57526]WhatTheHeck[/re]: About 30 IQ points.

  • S.Luggo

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]:
    A. “A violation of civil laws is not a crime…”. But perjury is.

    B. Re Mukasey’s attempt to characterize as a mere violation of “civil service laws” Goodling’s actions against pinko-fag-demrat applicants for career DOJ positions:
    A Federal agency may not discriminate against an employee or applicant with respect to the terms, conditions or privileges of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or POLITICAL AFFILIATION. Discrimination on these bases is prohibited by one or more of the following statutes: 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1), 29 U.S.C. 206(d), 29 U.S.C. 631, 29 U.S.C. 633a, 29 U.S.C. 791 and 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16.

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    It’s like the DOJ has been screwed by Goodling and the only thing she left behind was case of crabs. And I don’t mean the eating kind.

  • Hooray For Anything

    Just wondering, but if, say Barry wins can his Attorney General just round up the lot of them and throw them in jail for all their rampant jackassery? Cause if so, that would be awesome.

  • american mutt

    [re=57605]tsunami[/re]: No, after to day it ain’t. It’s merely a “violation of the law”.

  • Guppy06

    [re=57642]Hooray For Anything[/re]: That would set a precedent. If Barry’s crew rounds up Bush’s justice folks for what they did during their term, then that means they themselves are fair game for the next administration to roll along.

    It’s the same reason Obama went with the FISA amendment: yeah, what Bush did is bad, but if Congress says what he did was “bad,” then Obama himself won’t be able to do the same thing if/when he gets to the White House.

    Expect lots of talk about “healing wounds,” similar in vein to Pelosi’s “off the table” stance.

  • Gopherit v2.0

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: These were civil violations, but she had to violate her Oath of Office somewhere in here, didn’t she? There’s no criminal penalties for that?

  • paolaccio

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: If this is what you’re talking about, you’re wide of the mark. This ain’t France… wait, is it France? No.

    You may be thinking of the difference between crimes and torts. Otherwise, if he broke a law, it’s a crime, which is defined by the Only Meaningful Authority on Everything as “…the breach of a rule or law for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a punishment.”


  • Vewol Mevemont

    [re=57614]S.Luggo[/re]: Yes, perjury is a crime, but I don’t recall any colorable claim for perjury here (am I wrong?). A violation of 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(1) is not a crime; it’s actionable as a civil violation (not a criminal violation). All of this doesn’t mean that some action shouldn’t be taken against Goodling or her superiors, but it likely wouldn’t be criminal unless there was a criminal violation that I’m unaware of.

    You’re forcing the baby to be boring, Sluggo.

  • paolaccio

    Maybe we could invent some new definition of “crime” which is “what Wiki says it is.”

    And then he can go to Wikijail? Have his sysop, bureaucrat, oversight and checkuser status revoked?

  • Vewol Mevemont

    [re=57704]paolaccio[/re]: [re=57703]Gopherit v2.0[/re] and everyone enlse: Jesus. Paolaccio, yes, I’m aware that we’re in a common law system. That’s not what I’m talking about. The law consists of much more than torts and crimes, and no, you can’t learn everything about this topic on Wikipedia. There is a whole universe of non-criminal laws, which most people refer to as “civil laws” (not to be confused with Civil Code legal systems, like France, which don’t use a common law precedent system and were, for the most part, originally based on Napoleonic code). For example, almost all imigration laws, the entire body of U.S. regulatory laws, antitrust laws (can be criminal, but only for certain offences), civil rights laws, etc., aren’t criminal laws. Criminal laws are typically embodied in Criminal Codes, which are a subset of state and federal codes. The prototypical state crimes are perjury, murder, rape, larceny, criminal assault & battery (there is also tort assault & battery) etc., and for the federal criminal code, things like RICO, crimes against the state (treason type crimes), and other multi-jurisdictional crimes, etc. There are numerous differences between these crimes and civil violations. Criminal violations typically involve heightened intent requirements as compared to civil violations, and criminal violations are always prosecuted by the state, while civil violations are sometimes also asserted as private claims (this universe is broader than just torts — e.g., civil rights laws, antitrust, etc.). That’s a very, very, simple explanation of the distinction, but good enough for Wonkette, I think. FYI, the law quoted by Sluggo is a part of a non-criminal section of the U.S. Code (it’s Federal civil law).

  • ladymacbeth

    well they may be just guidelines, but at least pirates have a code of honor.

    these guys just have an ID.

  • S.Luggo

    [re=57762]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: Actually it’s boilerplate from a federal job application, something which Miss Goodling, as a political hack and DOJ cock warmer, did not have to complete or, evidently, have to ever read.

  • Gopherit v2.0

    [re=57762]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: Right. Though I’m not a lawyer, I have a layman’s understanding of the difference between civil and criminal violations. I just can’t believe that violating of your oath of office as a member of the Justice Department doesn’t violate the criminal code somewhere. Being a lawyer, I was hoping you could expand on this for me or shut me down with a “sorry, chump, but that’s a civil issue, too.” But you’ve gone and sucked all of the fun out of it for me. I no longer feel bloodlust, only an urgent need to sleep.

    Must find other snark.

  • Destonio

    Blame Schumer and Feinstein. They’re the ones who let his vote get out of committee.

  • MplsMama

    Congrats Bill. Your impeachment has just been nullified. Now, I have to go speak to a judge about some parking tickets…

  • Driftwood

    Wait what that was illegal? Oh, totally our bad. Don’t worry about it though, we promise we’ll never do it again. Promise! No need for repercussions, we’ll pinky swear that we’ll be good from here on out.

  • RuperttheBear

    [re=57544]Vewol Mevemont[/re]: What if you conspire to violate civil laws to deprive people of their civil rights, i.e., the expression of political views? Or, as is the case here, you’re a whiny fundamentalist Christian bitch who should be held down so Magic Titty and AngryBlakGuy can punch her in the balls? HUH? WHAT THEN!?