Stories from the Dump: DOJ Nominee Backs Out


Government and corporate officials know the best way to bury bad news, is to release it late on Friday.  It's been called "The Dump" where bad news goes into the weekend news abyss and often goes unnoticed. We'll revive some of those stories here on Monday so you can know - what they didn't want you to know.

This past Friday's under-the-radar news release? The announcement that Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen, had withdrawn her bid for confirmation. Johnsen, whose criticism of Bush administration interrogation policies drew fierce Republican opposition, is just the latest confirmation failure for Obama.

The previous Friday Obama's nominee for the head of the Transportation Security Administration (his second), Major General Robert A. Harding, withdrew his nomination amid criticism of his work as a defense contractor.

Johnsen languished for a year awaiting confirmation. She was waiting so long, she went back to her teaching job at Indiana University. Why was it buried on Friday? In the statement, the White House said Republicans simply wouldn't allow her to be concerned. Perhaps they didn't want to broadcast their defeat to the world.

Dawn Johnsen April 9 statement:

"I am deeply honored that President Obama, the Attorney General and a strong majority of the U.S. Senate have demonstrated faith and confidence in my ability to lead the Office of Legal Counsel. OLC plays a critical role in upholding the rule of law and must provide advice unvarnished by politics or partisan ambition. That was my guiding principle when I had the privilege to lead OLC in a past administration. Restoring OLC to its best nonpartisan traditions was my primary objective for my anticipated service in this administration. Unfortunately, my nomination has met with lengthy delays and political opposition that threaten that objective and prevent OLC from functioning at full strength. I hope that the withdrawal of my nomination will allow this important office to be filled promptly"