m8170 BC-MN-FiredProsecutors- 04-16 0403
House Judiciary Committee seeks interview with Paulose, others
With BC-Fired Prosecutors, moving nationally
By AMY FORLITI
Associated Press Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee wants to interview U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Rachel Paulose as it continues its investigation into the firings of eight federal prosecutors.
Rep. John Conyers Jr., chairman of the committee, said he wants to interview Paulose and others based on an initial round of interviews and on a review of documents released by the Department of Justice. The request was made in a Monday letter to Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Hertling.
"In our continuing effort to determine the truth behind these firings, we believe that these future interviews will also provide information which we may not already have but that is critical to our investigation nonetheless," the letter said.
Conyers, D-Mich., said in the letter that the interviews would be voluntary.
A spokeswoman for Paulose could not be reached for comment after regular business hours Monday.
Paulose, who had served as a top Justice Department counsel and special assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, was appointed interim U.S. attorney in Minnesota in March 2006. Her predecessor was not among the eight fired U.S. attorneys, but critics have suggested her appointment was an example of political cronyism.
This month, three lawyers in Paulose’s office resigned from their top management posts, amid questions about the 34-year-old’s management style and experience.
In the letter, Conyers said the House Judiciary Committee is also seeking interviews with:
—John Kelly, deputy director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, who came to Minnesota to help Paulose amid the resignations of her managers;
—Matthew Friedrich, chief of staff and principal deputy assistant attorney general, Criminal Division;
—John Nowacki, principal deputy director, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys;
—Tasia Scolinos, director of public affairs for the Department of Justice;
—Steven Biskupic, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin;
—Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania;
—and Larry Gomez, acting U.S. attorney for the District of New Mexico.