Paul McNulty

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Paul McNulty
McNulty.jpeg
Deputy Attorney General of the United States
In office
March 17, 2006 – July 26, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by James Comey
Succeeded by Mark Filip
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
In office
September 14, 2001 – September 14, 2005
President George W. Bush
Personal details
Born Paul J. McNulty
(1958-01-21) January 21, 1958 (age 56)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Brenda Millican
Alma mater Grove City College (B.A)
Capital University Law School (J.D.)
Religion Christianity

Paul J. McNulty (born January 21, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is the former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, having previously served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He held the position until July 26, 2007.

He was nominated as U.S. Attorney by President George W. Bush and confirmed on September 14, 2001. McNulty was nominated to the position of Deputy Attorney General on October 20, 2005, following the withdrawal of Timothy Flanigan's candidacy. McNulty was sworn into office on March 17, 2006. He replaced acting Deputy Attorney General Robert McCallum, Jr. McNulty graduated from Grove City College, a small Christian school in western Pennsylvania,[1] in 1980. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Capital University School of Law in 1983.

As United States Attorney, McNulty is most noted for overseeing the prosecution of a number of high-profile cases, including those against terror suspects John Walker Lindh, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali and Zacarias Moussaoui. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, McNulty directed President Bush's transition team for the Department of Justice and then served as Principal Associate Attorney General. From 1990 to 1993, under President George H. W. Bush, McNulty was the Justice Department's director of policy and its chief spokesman.

On July 30, 2007, McNulty announced that he would be joining the law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP as a partner in their Washington, D.C. office.

Career before Department of Justice[edit]

McNulty started his public career in 1983 "as a Democrat and counsel to the House Ethics Committee, [before] eventual bec[oming] a Republican...."[2]

McNulty served the United States Congress for 12 years. He was Chief Counsel and Director of Legislative Operations for the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was also Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Crime where he served for eight years. During those years he was a principal draftsman of many anti-terrorism, drug control, firearms and anti-fraud statutes. He also served as chief counsel and communications director for House Judiciary Committee Republicans during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.[2]

Career at Department of Justice[edit]

McNulty has played a significant role in shaping criminal justice policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was a primary architect of the "Parole Abolition and Sentencing Reform" initiative in 1994, and he served on the board of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Advisory Committee of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Washington Post noted: "He helped shepherd John D. Ashcroft through a contentious confirmation as attorney general in 2001 and was appointed the U.S. attorney in Alexandria three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. McNulty, who had no trial experience, presided over a dramatic expansion of that office over the next four years before taking over as Gonzales's second-in-command."[2]

As Deputy Attorney General, McNulty reported to the Attorney General, and served as Chairman of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' Advisory Committee and as Chairman of the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

In December, 2006 McNulty issued Charging Guidelines for Corporate Fraud Prosecutions, which are informally referred to as the "McNulty Memo." The guidelines replaced the Thompson Memorandum, which was issued in January 2003 by then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, and provides guidance to federal prosecutors in deciding whether to charge a corporation, rather than or in addition to individuals within the corporation, with criminal offenses. Under the Thompson memo, in deciding whether a corporation was cooperating with an investigation, prosecutors were allowed to consider two controversial factors: 1) whether a company would agree to waive the attorney-client privilege in regard to conversations had by its employees, and 2) whether a company had declined to pay attorneys’ fees for its employees. The McNulty Memo requires that when federal prosecutors seek privileged attorney-client communications or legal advice from a company, the U.S. Attorney must obtain written approval from the Deputy Attorney General.[3][4]

On May 14, 2007 McNulty announced his resignation in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.[5] McNulty's resignation took effect July 26, 2007.

U.S. Attorneys controversy[edit]

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy
( )
Articles
G. W. Bush administration officials involved
Involved administration officials who resigned
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
110th Congress
U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary
110th Congress

In January, 2007, shortly after a number of U.S. Attorneys were fired the same day (December 7, 2006), Congress began investigations. McNulty became a central figure after he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing on February 6, 2007, "that the White House played only a marginal role in the dismissals," a statement that was contradicted by later testimony and subsequently released documents. He also said most of the prosecutors were fired for "performance-related" reasons. That statement angered many of the dismissed U.S. attorneys, most of whom had very positive evaluations, and who had refrained from criticizing the DOJ about their surprise dismissals, and that personal explanation was not forthcoming from the Department justifying their dismissals."[2]

As Legal Times explained: "McNulty’s testimony angered three key constituencies in the scandal: the attorney general, Congress, and the fired U.S. attorneys. Gonzales, it would later emerge, was upset that McNulty had essentially disclosed the involvement of the White House in the firing of H.E. “Bud” Cummins III, the U.S. attorney in Arkansas. And members of Congress would note that, in testifying that Cummins had been fired to make way for an acolyte of White House political adviser Karl Rove, McNulty was contradicting an earlier assertion by Gonzales that the firings hadn’t been motivated by political reasons.'...It also spurred most of the fired prosecutors to publicly defend themselves...."

Cumins was removed "to make room for Tim Griffin, a Karl Rove protégé who had headed the opposition-research operation at the Republican National Committee. Gonzales was upset, his former chief of staff Kyle Sampson has told congressional investigators, that McNulty's revelation put "in the public sphere" the uncomfortable fact that the White House helped engineer the dismissal."[6]

On March 13th, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales conceded that McNulty's testimony was inaccurate, "incomplete information was communicated or may have been communicated to Congress."[7]

Senator Charles Schumer said he was told by Justice Department officials that Carol Lam and others were terminated because of "performance-related," but Schumer said, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty later "called me on the phone and said, 'I am sorry that I didn't tell you the truth."'[8]

McNulty, in turn, was said to be angry at being kept out of the loop, and for being misled, telling congressional investigators in private testimony to Congress on April 27, 2007 that "Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales's chief of staff, and Monica M. Goodling, then the department's White House liaison, did not brief him fully before his testimony."[2][9]

On May 14 McNulty announced his resignation, which took effect July 26, 2007.

On May 28, 2007 Monica Goodling, the Department's White House liaison, was summoned under a limited grant of immunity to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, where she was quick to refute McNulty's earlier charges against her by stating that, in fact, it was McNulty who "had not been fully candid" about the 2006 U.S. Attorney firings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jason McLure; Emma Schwartz (May 21, 2007). "At DOJ, a Hard Job to Fill: McNulty's leaving, but the department's problems aren't going anywhere". Legal Times. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dan Eggen (May 15, 2007). "Justice Dept.'s No. 2 to Resign: McNulty Is 4th to Quit Since Disputed Firings". Washington Post. p. A01. 
  3. ^ "FindLaw: McNulty Memo." (webpage). FindLaw. December 12, [2006]. Retrieved 2008-07-21.  |
  4. ^ Jones, Ashby (December 12, [2006]). "Wall Street Journal Blog: "Thompson Memo Out McNulty Memo In"" (webpage). WSJ. Retrieved 2008-07-21.  |
  5. ^ "Paul McNulty's resignation letter" (PDF). Washington Post. May 14, [2007]. Retrieved 2007-05-14.  |
  6. ^ Karen Tumulty; Massimo Calabresi (May 10, 2007). "Inside the Scandal at Justice". Time Magazine. 
  7. ^ "Gonzales acknowledges mistakes in firings: He brushes aside calls for resignation in case involving 8 attorneys". Associated Press. March 13, 2007. 
  8. ^ Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer (March 18, 2007). "California attorney's firing draws Dems' spotlight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-03-18. [dead link]
  9. ^ Johnston, David (May 15, 2007). "Gonzales’s Deputy Quits Justice Department". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
James B. Comey
U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Served under: George W. Bush

2005–2007
Succeeded by
Craig S. Morford
(acting)