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Special Counsel for Black & Abramoff Investigation


Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District

Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus

www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/index.html


For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2005

Conyers, Miller and Others Demand Special Counsel for
Black and Abramoff Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement at a press conference today asking that the Department of Justice appoint a special counsel to investigate two instances of possible political manipulation by Justice Department officials:

"First, we believe that the circumstances surrounding the November 2002 demotion of former Acting United States Attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Frederick A. Black give rise to the appointment of a special counsel. The fact that he was demoted just one day after he obtained a subpoena into Jack Abramoff's lobbying activities in Guam, and was replaced by an individual recommended by the Guam Republican Party through Karl Rove, certainly raises cause for concern.

Second, we believe that the circumstances surrounding Jack Abramoff and his access to a classified, DOJ review of loopholes in Guam and Mariana Island immigration laws, are problematic. Mr. Black had ordered the review in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, but they were apparently jettisoned after Mr. Abramoff obtained a confidential copy of the review.

The appointment of a special counsel is clearly called for by the regulations - a criminal investigation is warranted; a conflict of interest exists; and it would be in the public interest have an independent, non-partisan review.

At a time when public confidence in the government and its leaders is at all time lows, we must act to restore that faith. A good place to start is by ensuring that those in place to fight public corruption, such as U.S. Attorneys, are not hindered in their efforts by political appointees and high priced lobbyists. Even more credibility is lost when we allow the potentially culpable to be investigated by their friends as is happening now.


##JUD-109-10/6/05##


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