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Goodling Admits Hirings Were Done Illegally

In her opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee today, Monica Goodling -- the Justice Department's former White House Liason -- admitted that she had "taken inappropriate political considerations into account" while hiring career employees at the Department.

Later during the hearing, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) asked Goodling whether she believed her actions had broken the law. Goodling initially tried to dodge the question, saying "that's not a conclusion for me to make." Scott followed up: "Do you believe that they were illegal?" Goodling again tried to squirm her way out of a straight answer, "I don't believe I intended to commit a crime."

But Scott continued to push for a real answer, listing the various types of laws that may have been broken. He again asked Goodling, "Were there any laws that you could have broken by taking political considerations into account, quote, on some occasions?"

Goodling eventually relented, admitting, "I crossed the line of the civil service rules." Scott clarified, "Rules? Laws. You crossed the law on civil service laws. You crossed the line on civil service laws, is that right?" She said, "I believe I crossed the lines. But I didn't mean to."

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