King: Has Dawn Johnsen been doing the job she wasn’t confirmed to? 

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has written Attorney General Eric Holder regarding Dawn Johnsen, President Obama’s nominee to run the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

Johnsen, who once took part in a legal action to punish the Catholic Church for its pro-life stance, and who once compared pregnancy to slavery in a legal argument, has watched her nomination languish due to various senators’ concerns. Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send Johnsen’s nomination to the Senate floor, but some believe that could be as far as her nomination goes.

King is seeking documents that would show Johnsen has been effectively doing the job at OLC anyway, despite the Senate’s failure to confirm her so far:

It is alarming that news reports have indicated that Ms. Johnsen has been performing duties prescribed to the Office of Legal Counsel, despite the fact that the Senate has not confirmed her nomination….In order to confirm or dismiss allegations regarding Ms. Johnsen’s violation of pre-confirmation etiquette and potential disregard for the Constitution’s clearly defined Senate confirmation process, I respectfully request that you provide my office with copies of all records of communications between any Office of Legal Counsel officials and Dawn Johnsen regarding personnel decisions that involve hiring, firing, promotion, discipline or any other personnel actions for career and non-career Office of Legal Counsel officials.

The group Americans for Limited Government requested the same documents in an October FOIA request, which has gone unanswered. Whether Johnsen was doing the job without confirmation is unproven, but the Obama administration’s months-long failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act is undisputed.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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