Saturday, March 24, 2007

Political Meddling in DOJ Tobacco Case?

Prosecutor Says Bush Appointees Interfered With Tobacco Case, Wash. Post, March 22, 2007:

The leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted a landmark lawsuit against tobacco companies said yesterday that Bush administration political appointees repeatedly ordered her to take steps that weakened the government's racketeering case.

Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's office began micromanaging the team's strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government's claim that the industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.

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"The political people were pushing the buttons and ordering us to say what we said," Eubanks said. "And because of that, we failed to zealously represent the interests of the American public."

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High-ranking Justice Department officials said there was no political meddling in the case, and the department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) concurred after an investigation.
Thanks: Day on Torts.


Spartacus O'Neal said...

The obstruction of justice award goes to the department of justice?
Ed Meese would be proud.

Anonymous said...

Among the names the White House is floating as the next Attorney General is Sharon Eubanks, the 22 year veteran of the DOJ.