PALLONE URGES ATTORNEY GENERAL TO FULLY DISCLOSE ALL DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today urged U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to fully disclose all information regarding deferred prosecution agreements. The New Jersey congressman sent the following letter to Mukasey today.
Today's letter follows one previous letter to the Attorney General and a letter to U.S. Attorney Chris Christie in which Pallone called for more transparency and safeguards against abuse of deferred prosecution agreements.
The New Jersey congressman is also in the process of drafting legislation to provide accountability and oversight in choosing federal monitors.
January 10, 2008
Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Dear Attorney General Mukasey:
I am once again writing in regards to the Justice Department's increased use of deferred prosecution agreements and the lack of transparency that is available to the public.
While I commend you for initiating an internal inquiry into the actual procedures that are used by your U.S. Attorneys and others in your department, I remain concerned that these secret agreements invite potential favoritism and political interference that can undermine our judicial system. I am also troubled by the fact that in many cases the names of the actual corporate monitors are never made public, increasing the impression of backroom gamesmanship.
Accordingly, as the inquiry continues, I urge you to immediately disclose each of the federal monitors involved in every one of the deferred prosecution agreements that have been negotiated by either U.S. Attorneys or the Justice Department. In an effort to bring more transparency to these agreements, I also request that you fully disclose all of the terms of these agreements so that both Congress and the public can determine for itself if this is a practice that should continue.
By initiating an internal inquiry, I know that you recognize the importance of this issue, and now hope that you would heed by request for full disclosure. I look forward to your reply.
Frank Pallone, Jr.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS