Rachel Paulose: Hatchet woman

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by Jeff Fecke • Do you remember Rachel Paulose? Of course you do! She’s the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota who played her own little role in the U.S. Attorney scandal. Hand-picked by Monica Goodling, sworn in with celestial choirs and honors and privileges befitting a minor dictator, Paulose soon proved to be every bit the partisan hatchet woman that one has come to expect from the Bush Administration’s Justice Department.

Jeff Fecke is a freelance writer who lives in Eagan, Minnesota.In addition to his own blog, Blog of the Moderate Left, he also contributes to Alas, a Blog, Minnesota Campaign Report, and AlterNet. Fecke has appeared as a guest on the “Today” show, the Alan Colmes radio show, and the Mark Heaney Show. Fecke is divorced, and the father of one really terrific daughter. His debut novel, The Valkyrie’s Tale, will available for sale in September.

Paulose met an ignominious fate, trying to fire her top aide, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, after he reported that Paulose did not properly secure classified materials. Marti and several other top officials in the office took demotions rather than continuing to work directly with Paulose.

Ultimately, Paulose was forced to resign, claiming all the way that “McCarthyite hysteria,” racism, and sexism had forced her from her post. That Paulose faced allegations of using racial epithets was not addressed. Paulose went to work for the Justice Department in Washington, and the U.S. Attorney’s office tried to pick up the pieces of what had been a very capable, non-partisan office under former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger, a Republican.

It might have ended there, but the Office of the Special Council took up the question of whether Marti was improperly punished for being a whistleblower. And their investigation has concluded with an emphatic yes.

Paulose was not the biggest figure in the U.S. Attorney scandal. But she was one of the most absurd. Woefully unqualified, placed in her position because unlike Heffelfinger, she was overly partisan, a Federalist Society gal through and through, Paulose proved to be a disaster. Much like the rest of the DOJ under Dubya.
Originally published 12/4/08