Monica Goodling broke her silence Wednesday. After receiving a grant of immunity from the House Judiciary Committee, Goodling was no longer able to plead the Fifth, and she testified about her involvement in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Goodling, who resigned as the Justice Department's White House liaison in April, told the committee that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales attempted to discuss his recollections of the firings with her when she asked for a leave of absence. She said that conversation made her "uncomfortable," though she said she did not believe Gonzales was trying to influence her testimony.
Goodling defended herself against accusations from outgoing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who claimed Goodling gave him an incomplete briefing on the White House's involvement in the firings. Goodling also admitted she had mistakenly "crossed the line" when she asked people applying for certain positions at the Justice Department about their political leanings.
Answering questions from U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Goodling said that Justice Department officials believed former Minnesota U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger was spending too much time on Native American issues.
At one point, Heffelfinger was reportedly on a list of prosecutors considered for firing, but Heffelfinger says he was unaware of that and stepped down willingly at the end of his term.