of course -- i'll provide live
video hearing coverage links on the
26th of february, but here is the
most interesting part of chairman
john conyers' thursday letter:
January 30, 2008
The Honorable John D. Ashcroft
The Ashcroft Group, LLC
1399 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Dear [Former] Mr. Attorney General:
The Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law will hold an oversight hearing entitled, "Deferred Prosecution: Should Corporate Settlement Agreements be Without Guidelines?" on Tuesday, February 26, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Several phone calls by my staff inviting you to testify were not returned, so I now write to formally request that you testify at this hearing. It is my hope that we can accomplish this without resorting to a compulsory process.
Please prepare a written statement for submission to the Subcommittee prior to your appearance. The written statement may be as extensive as you wish and will be included in the hearing record. To allow sufficient time for questions by members at the hearing, you will be allowed up to five minutes to make an oral statement briefly highlighting your written testimony.
Oral testimony at the hearing, including answers to questions, will be printed as part of the ver- batim record of the hearing. Only transcription errors may be edited subsequent to the hearing.
To facilitate preparation for the hearing, an electronic copy of your written statement and curriculum vitae should be sent to the Subcommittee by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 22, 2008.
The Subcommittee will publish the statement on our website and, therefore, we request that the documents be provided in either Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, or Adobe Acrobat. We would appreciate it if all pages of the written statement are numbered and a cover page is attached with the witness' name, position, date, and title of hearing. . . [full letter, as a PDF file.]
[and here is the related press release:]
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Commercial and Administrative Law (CAL) Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez have called upon former Attorney General John Ashcroft to testify at the CAL Subcommittee hearing, “Deferred Prosecution: Should Corporate Settlement Agreements be Without Guidelines.” The hearing will address the alarming growth of secret corporate monitoring contracts awarded in the settlement of corporate fraud cases.
"Mr. Ashcroft’s experience lends a valuable perspective to the hearing as his firm was the recipient of a no-bid monitoring contract from a deferred prosecution settlement worth between $28 million to $52 million," said Conyers. "Recent reports that the current Attorney General sought a similar, lucrative arrangement before his confirmation underscores the need for an extensive public examination of these sole-source, no-bid contracts.
The revelation that Attorney General Mukasey was seeking a corporate monitoring contract as he was nominated for Attorney General adds another intriguing piece to the secret deals made between the government and corporations under threat of prosecution," said Sánchez. "We look forward to hearing from the Department and from former Attorney General Ashcroft on how to remove the appearance of sweetheart no-bid deals for corporate monitors.