August 09, 2004

"Federal law provides individuals who are congressional witnesses or assisting congressional investigations protection from retaliation," Grassley wrote.

"Out, out damn spot!"

Boston Globe: In blunt, private letters, the Senate
Finance Committee chairman has told Attorney General
John Ashcroft he believes the Justice Department has
retaliated against prosecutors in a Detroit terror
trial because they cooperated with Congress...In one
letter, Grassley demanded that Assistant U.S. Attorney
Richard Convertino and his colleagues in Detroit "be
made whole and not suffer reprisals." The senator
asked Ashcroft to rectify the matter before it begins
"exposing the department to public criticisms."
Grassley also dismissed as "bureaucratic, legalistic
spin" the department's explanations for why the
prosecution team was subjected to internal
investigation.
"Federal law provides individuals who are congressional witnesses or assisting congressional investigations protection from retaliation," Grassley wrote.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2004/08/08/gop_sen_comes_to_us_attorneys_defense/


GOP sen. comes to U.S. attorneys' defense
August 8, 2004

WASHINGTON --In blunt, private letters, the Senate
Finance Committee chairman has told Attorney General
John Ashcroft he believes the Justice Department has
retaliated against prosecutors in a Detroit terror
trial because they cooperated with Congress.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has written Ashcroft or
his deputies at least three times to accuse department
officials of taking "hostile actions" and "reprisals"
against the trial prosecutors.

In one letter, Grassley demanded that Assistant U.S.
Attorney Richard Convertino and his colleagues in
Detroit "be made whole and not suffer reprisals." The
senator asked Ashcroft to rectify the matter before it
begins "exposing the department to public criticisms."

Grassley also dismissed as "bureaucratic, legalistic
spin" the department's explanations for why the
prosecution team was subjected to internal
investigation.

"Federal law provides individuals who are
congressional witnesses or assisting congressional
investigations protection from retaliation," Grassley
wrote.

Justice officials declined comment.

Convertino, a 14-year career prosecutor, helped win
the convictions of three men accused of operating a
terror cell in Detroit last summer, but he came under
investigation when his bosses learned Grassley's
committee had subpoenaed him to testify, said Bill
Sullivan, Convertino's attorney.

Sullivan said Convertino had been asked by Grassley's
committee last fall to narrowly testify about terror
financing schemes, and had no intention of discussing
the friction with Washington or the missed evidence
opportunities that arose during the trial.

Convertino remains employed by Justice but has been
detailed to Congress to assist Grassley. He recently
sued Ashcroft, accusing Justice officials of
interfering with the case and retaliating against him.

"The complaints that Rick has must be appropriately
answered so that no other prosecutors ever be faced
with the obstacles that were imposed in the Detroit
case," Sullivan said.


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Posted by richard at August 9, 2004 04:48 PM