Former US Attorneys Joe Wagner and John Jones say they were pressured to commit perjury to win their jobs at the highest levels of the Justice Department.
The New York Times obtained sworn testimony from Wagner, who served as chief deputy attorney general for two years before taking the job at the US Attorney’s Office in New York.
Wagner told the Times he had to admit to making a false statement to get a job in the Justice Office, which had a reputation for lying under oath.
“It was pretty hard for me to do,” Wagner said.
“You know, I had some of my best friends in the department, and we would often joke around and joke about the Justice Bureau job that they had,” he said.
He said he had no idea that the department had a problem with perjury.
Wagners lawyer, Robert H. Kasten, confirmed the allegations.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Justice Departments inspector general had found that Wagner had lied under oath to the FBI.
He was not charged, but the Justice Dept. declined to comment.
Wagers lawyer, H. Bruce Rochkind, also confirmed the report.
The report says that “at least one other federal prosecutor in the office was threatened with disciplinary action by the office’s deputy attorney” for not recusing himself from the case, and that one of Wagners superiors had threatened him with “termination” if he didn’t recuse himself.
“There is no doubt that former Justice Department Deputy Attorneys Wagner (and) Jones have engaged in a pattern and practice of lying under sworn oath in order to win career advancement,” the report says.
Wagener and Jones were not charged in connection with the case.
DOJ IG Report Calls for Investigations Wagners and Jones are the latest figures to come out after the release of a scathing report by the inspector general at the Department of Justice.
The IG report is expected to be published Friday.
Wagnner resigned from the Justice department after being charged in May 2016 with perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering in a corruption investigation into the corruption of an employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Jones, who has been a US attorney for New York for more than 30 years, resigned in February 2016 after being indicted on corruption charges related to the case against former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
He pleaded not under oath in January 2017 to perjury, fraud and other charges.
The former federal prosecutor is now a partner at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling.
Wagnor was also a former US attorney in Los Angeles.
The investigation into Wagner’s alleged lying is the latest in a string of corruption scandals that have rocked the department.
In February, former acting US attorney Rod Rosenstein told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Wagners perjury was “probably the most significant and consequential criminal lie” he had seen in his career.