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General News    H3'ed 3/24/11

Watchdog Group Seeks Documents on DOJ's Investigation of Tom DeLay

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

A Washington-based watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice, seeking information about the feds' failure to prosecute former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. CREW says the DOJ failed to release FBI records related to investigations of DeLay, convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and others. CREW says it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to determine why the federal government never pursued a prosecution against DeLay.

Could this be a first step toward learning why the Obama Justice Department has taken a nonsensical "look forward, not backwards" approach to apparent crimes under the George W. Bush administration? Based on a press release from CREW, the answer appears to be yes.

Texas authorities convicted DeLay on state charges for a scheme in which he illegally helped funnel corporate contributions to Republican Texas legislative candidates. He was sentenced in January to three years in prison, but remains free pending his appeal. The federal government, however, never pursued charges against DeLay--and CREW wants to know why. From the CREW press release:

"Rep. Tom DeLay spent years turning the House of Representatives into his personal casino, and yet shockingly was never federally prosecuted. The American people deserve to know why," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.

Why is the Justice Department stonewalling on providing records about its actions--and inactions--in the DeLay case? Allan Lengel, at ticklethewire.com,  provides insight:

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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