“Something is fundamentally broken within the Department of Justice,” says Thomas Heffelfinger, former U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In a blistering attack in a speech to the Hennepin County Bar Association, Heffelfinger yesterday accused Justice Department officials of firing people without knowing the most basic information about their qualifications. Heffelfinger said he had no idea anyone in Washington was thinking of firing him when he resigned last year.
Kyle Sampeon, former assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, had said that Heffelfinger and several other U.S. attorneys “had no federal prosecution experience when they took the job.” Actually, Heffelfinger had served a previous term as U.S. attorney. On Wednesday, former former Justice Department official Monica Goodling said she had heard that Heffelfinger was spending too much time on American Indian issues. Heffelfinger defended his commitment Indian to law matters and called the claim that he was too interested in the issue “outrageous and shameful.”