The controversial attorney who runs the Education Department’s civil rights division cited her work attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton at the top of her resume when she applied to work for President Donald Trump, according to a copy of the document obtained.
Candice Jackson, who brought a group of women who had accused President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to a presidential debate last year between Trump and Hillary Clinton, listed that event as one of her “top five qualifications” for working in the administration.
At the Education Department, Jackson has taken a prominent role helping Education Secretary Betsy DeVos shape federal policy pertaining to protections for transgender students and the handling of campus sexual assault cases. She drew fire in June for telling The New York Times that 90 percent of campus sexual assault cases “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk.’”
On her résumé, Jackson noted that she had steadfastly attacked Hillary Clinton’s “lifelong corruption and hypocritical claim to defend women and children” in ads and videos and brought a “unique perspective due to also being a gay Republican.”
A watchdog group that acquired it using a Freedom of Information Act request. It’s not clear whether the document was submitted directly to the Education Department or by another means, such as to the Trump transition team.
Melanie Sloan, senior adviser at American Oversight, said Jackson’s hiring is an example of Trump’s “clear pattern of filling important roles in his administration with ideologues and political hacks.
“Nowhere is this more evident than at the Department of Education, where Secretary DeVos — despite a total absence of experience in management or education policy — now oversees thousands of employees and more than $60 billion in taxpayer money,” Sloan said.
When reached by telephone, Jackson referred questions to the Education Department’s press office, which did not respond to questions.
DeVos has previously defended Jackson as “a valuable part of the administration and an unwavering advocate for the civil rights of all students.”
Jackson made headlines in June with her comments in a New York Times interview that seemingly downplayed accusations made by campus sexual assault victims. Jackson later apologized. But Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate HELP Committee, urged DeVos to fire Jackson.
Jackson — a longtime critic of the Clintons — wrote a book titled “Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine.” During the 2016 presidential campaign, she worked behind the scenes with Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant, to bring the women who say they were victimized by the Clintons to a presidential debate.
In addition to that work, Jackson wrote on the résumé that while in law school at Pepperdine University, she received a writing award from the conservative and libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation for an article titled “Setting Constitutional Boundaries in Educational Affirmative Action.”
While an undergraduate at Stanford, she said, she coordinated Hoover Institution lectures with conservative scholars like Thomas Sowell and sponsored Dinesh D’Souza to debate Jesse Jackson on affirmative action. Trump recently retweeted D’Souza blaming liberal groups for recent violence at demonstrations.