A group of public interest watchdogs have joined forces to pressure the Justice Department into appointing a special prosecutor to investigate charges that Attorney General John Ashcroft broke campaign finance laws in his unsuccessful run for reelection to the Senate in 2000. They've published a long letter addressed to Deputy Attorney General James Comey which lays out the evidence and urges him to make the appointment. Here's a bit of it:
FEC documents present clear and convincing evidence that Attorney General Ashcroft knowingly accepted, during his 2000 Senate re-election campaign, a fundraising mailing list, developed at a cost of $1.7 million, constituting an illegal, excessive campaign contribution of at least $255,000, in violation of 2 U.S.C. § 441a(f); that his leadership PAC illegally funneled $192,965 in rental income derived from that mailing list to his campaign committee, in contravention of 2 U.S.C. § 441a(a)(2)(A); that his campaign committee derived an additional $61,955 in illegal, excessive campaign contributions by using the mailing list to solicit other contributions, in violation of 2 U.S.C. § 441a(f); that his leadership PAC and campaign committee failed to disclose the transfer of the mailing list as a campaign contribution, in violation of 2 U.S.C. §§ 434 (a)-(b); that he committed a felonious act of criminal conspiracy by conspiring -- along with his leadership PAC and his campaign committee -- to defraud the government of the United States by disrupting and impeding its agent, the FEC, from carrying out its statutorily prescribed duties to enforce campaign financing and disclosure laws and to provide the public with accurate information regarding the source and use of contributions to federal candidates, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; and that he filed false statements with the FEC, thereby committing a felony violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
Anyway, we'll see if they have any effect. Thanks to Alfredo Garcia for the tip.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack