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Conyers.Dannehy.OLA

Conyers.Dannehy.OLA

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Published by: MainJustice on Jul 21, 2010
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u.s.
DepartmentofJustice
OfficeofLegislativeAffairs
OfficeoftheAssistantAttorneyGeneral
Washington,D.C.20530
July21,2010
HonorableJohnConyers,Jr.ChainnanCommitteeontheJudiciaryU.S.HouseofRepresentativesWashington,D.C.20515DearMr.Chainnan:ThissupplementsourearlierresponsetoyourletterofOctober2,2008,whichrequestedinfonnationabouttheappointmentofAssistantUnitedStatesAttorneyNoraR.DannehyoftheDistrictofConnecticuttodetennineifcriminalchargesarewarrantedbasedoncertainfindingsinthepublicreportoftheOfficeoftheInspectorGeneral(OIG)andtheOfficeofProfessionalResponsibility(OPR)(collectivelyOIG/OPR)entitled"AnInvestigationintotheRemovalofNineU.S.Attorneysin2006"(Report).WearesendingidenticalresponsestotheotherMemberswhojoinedinyourlettertous.Asmorefullyexplainedbelow,Ms.Dannehyhasdetenninedthatnocriminalchargesarewarrantedwithrespecttothismatter.
I.Background
TheOIG/OPRReportnotedthat"[David]Iglesias'sremovalledtoseriousallegations
thathewasdismissedforimproperpartisanpoliticalreasons
-
namelytoinfluencevoterfraudprosecutionsinacloselydividedstateortoaffectthetimingofapubliccorruptioncaseagainstaprominentDemocratinordertoinfluencetheoutcomeofanelection."Reportat197.However,OIG/OPRconcludedthattheywerenotabletoobtainalltheevidencerelatedtotheseallegations.TheyspecificallynotedtheirinabilitytoreviewrelevantWhiteHousedocumentsandinabilitytointerviewcertainindividualswhomighthaverelevantinfonnationsuchasSenatorPeteV.Domenici,SteveBell,HarrietMiers,KarlRove,andMonicaGoodling.!TheReportconcluded,therefore,thatseriousallegationsofpotentialcriminalconductwithregardtotheremovalofDavidIglesias,includingobstructionofjusticeandtheftofhonestservices/mailorwirefraud,couldnotbefullyinvestigatedorresolved.Reportat199-200.OIGandOPRalsoconcludedthatboththenAttorneyGeneralGonzalesandMr.Sampsonmadevariousmisleadingstatementsandthatfurtherinvestigationwasneededtoconsiderwhetheranycriminalfalsestatementsweremade.Reportat341,347.!AlthoughDepartmentofJusticeemployeeshaveanobligationtocooperatewithOIG/OPRinvestigations,OIG/OPRhadnomeanstocompelinterviewsofindividualsnotemployedbytheDepartment.
 
TheHonorableJohnConyers,Jr.
PageTwoBasedonaspecificrecommendationintheReport,onSeptember29,2008,AttorneyGeneralMichaelMukaseyappointedMs.DannehytoserveasaSpecialAttorneypursuantto28D.S.C.§515anddirectedthatshe:
1.DeterminewhethertheevidencedemonstratesthatanyprosecutablecriminaloffensewascommittedwithregardtotheremovalofDavidIglesias;
2.Assessthefacts
thattheOIG/OPRinvestigationuncovered;
3.
Conductfurtherinvestigationasneeded,includingobtainingorreviewingadditionaldocumentsorspeakingwithwitnesses;and4.DeterminewhetherevidencedemonstratesthatanycriminalfalsestatementsweremadebywitnessestoCongressorOIG/OPR.
Ms.Dannehy,togetherwithotherprosecutorsandagentsoftheFederalBureauofInvestigation(theinvestigativeteam),soughtandobtainedalldocumentsnotedasrelevantbyOIG/OPRaswellasmanyadditionaldocuments.Theyquestionedover60individuals,includingthoseindividualsOIG/OPRdescribedaspotentiallyhavingrelevantinformation.TheWhiteHouse,underformerPresidentGeorgeW.Bush,fullycooperatedwiththeinvestigation.Theinvestigativeteamdeterminedthat,basedontheevidencealreadydevelopedbyOIG/OPRandCongress,aswellastheadditionalevidencedevelopedthroughthecriminalinvestigation,thatevidencedidnotdemonstratethatanyprosecutablecriminaloffensewascommittedwithregardtotheremovalofDavidIglesias.TheinvestigativeteamalsodeterminedthattheevidencedidnotwarrantexpandingthescopeoftheinvestigationbeyondtheremovalofIglesias.Additionally,theinvestigativeteamdeterminedthattherewasinsufficentevidencetoshowthatanywitnessmadeprosecutablefalsestatementstoeitherCongressorOIG/OPR,orcorruptlyendeavoredtoimpedeacongressionalinquiry.
II.ObstructionofJusticeAndTheftofHonest
ServicesAccordingtotheReport:[I]fthoseseekingIglesias'sremovaldidsotopressureIglesiastoacceleratehischargingdecisionintheCourthousecaseorinitiatevoterfraudinvestigationstoaffecttheoutcomeoftheupcomingelection,theirconductmayhavebeencriminal....[W]ebelievethatpressuringaprosecutortoindictacasemorequicklytoaffecttheoutcomeofanupcomingelectioncouldbeacorruptattempttoinfluencetheprosecutioninviolationoftheobstructionofjusticestatute.Thesamereasoningcouldapplytopressuringaprosecutortotakepartisanpoliticalconsiderationsintoaccountinhischargingdecisionsinvoterfraudmatters.Reportat199.
 
TheHonorableJohnConyers,Jr.Page
Three
TheOmnibusClauseof18U.S.C.§1503punishesanyonewho
"corruptly.
..influences,obstructs,orimpedes,or
endeavorstoinfluence,obstruct,orimpede,the
due
administrationofjustice.,,2
BecausetheOmnibusClausepunishesonlyendeavorsto"influence,obstructorimpede,"itpenalizesonlyforward-lookingconduct.Therefore,Ms.Dannehysoughttodetermine(1)whethertheevidenceestablishedthatanypersonendeavoredtopressureDavidIglesiastoacceleratehischargingdecisionsintheCourthousecaseorinitiatevoterfraudinvestigationstoaffecttheelection,and(2)whethertheevidenceestablishedthatanyoneinfluencedorendeavoredtoinfluenceajudicialproceedingbyremovingIglesias
-
thatis,whetherindividualssoughtIglesias'sremovalinordertoreplacehimwithaUnitedStatesAttorneywhowouldactinamanneraimedatinfluencingthedueadministrationofjustice.TheevidencedidnotsupportchargesundertheOmnibusClauseof§1503.TherewasinsufficientevidencethatformerSenatorPeteV.Domenici,otherNewMexicoRepublicans,personsintheWhiteHouse,oranyoneatDOJattemptedtoprospectivelyinfluenceIglesias'sactions.TheweightoftheevidenceestablishednotanattempttoinfluencebutratheranattempttoremoveDavidIglesiasfromoffice,inotherwords,toeliminatethepossibilityofanyfutureactionorinactionbyhim.SenatorDomeniciissuedapublicstatementacknowledgingthatinlate2006hecalledMr.IglesiasandinquiredaboutthetimeframeoftheCourthousecase.Mr.Iglesiasmademanypublicstatementsaboutbeingthreatenedorunjustlypressuredbythatacall.TheevidenceaboutthecalldevelopedinthecourseofMs.Dannehy'sinvestigation,however,wasinsufficienttoestablishanattempttopressureMr.Iglesiastoacceleratehischargingdecisions.And,therewasinsufficientadditionalevidencethatSenatorDomeniciexplicitlyorimplicitlythreatenedMr.Iglesiasthathewouldbefiredifacertaincaseorcaseswerenotbroughtbeforetheelection.
2
Section1512isnobroaderthan§1503inthiscontext.Onlytwosubsectionsarepotentiallyrelevant:Sectionl5l2(c)(2)penalizes"[w]hoevercorruptly...obstructs,influences,orimpedesanyofficialproceeding,orattemptstodoso...."Inthecontextofthiscase,§l5l2(c)(2)doesnotmateriallydifferfromtheOmnibusClauseof§1503.Sectionl5l2(d)(4)penalizesonlyharassmentthat
dissuades
or
hinders
institutionofaprosecution
-
itdoesnotcoverharassmentthat
encourages
suchaction:"Whoeverintentionallyharassesanotherpersonandtherebyhinders,delays,preventsordissuadesanypersonfrom...(4)causingacriminalprosecution...tobesoughtorinstituted,orassistinginsuchprosecution...orattemptstodoso...."Becausetheallegedmisconductinthiscasewasaimedat
promoting
acriminalprosecution,itfallsoutsidethescopeof§l5l2(d)(4).

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