Lisa Monaco writes in Just Security: “The Soul of the Justice Department: Who Must Stand Up For It Now”
“Over the course of 20 years in public service, including 15 at the Department of Justice, I had the opportunity to work under some great Justice Department leaders, including Janet Reno and Bob Mueller. I couldn’t have picked two people from more different backgrounds or life experiences to serve as mentors for a career in the Department. But each in their own way shaped me as a lawyer, as a prosecutor, as a public servant, and as a person. Many of us fortunate to have grown up in a Justice Department where by tradition and mission your dedication was to the institution and its role to do independent justice are now seeing this tradition being horribly strained and looking on in dismay.
“As a young lawyer I went to work fresh off a federal clerkship to serve as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno. A daughter of the Florida Everglades and forged in a hardscrabble upbringing, she became the first woman to serve as Attorney General. Washington, DC didn’t know what to make of her when she first came to town; and that was just fine with her. Her oft stated response to withering and partisan criticism was: ‘I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t, so I might as well do the right thing.’ That rejection of the Capitol’s finger in the wind culture was unusual for the average appointee, let alone a member of the president’s cabinet…”