John Ashcroft

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Obama's Pick for FBI Defied Bush Over Wiretaps

President set to name former Bush official James Comey to lead agency

(Newser) - President Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI. Three people with knowledge of the selection said Obama planned to nominate Comey, who was the No. 2 in George W. Bush's Justice Department. Comey became a hero to Democratic opponents of Bush'... More »

Prosecute Bush, Cronies: Human Rights Watch

Group wants torture allegations investigated

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch wants George W. Bush and his top officials prosecuted for war crimes and criminal conspiracy, the Guardian reports. In a new report, the US group calls for foreign governments to move forward with the prosecution if the Obama administration does not investigate. In addition to allegations of... More »

Supreme Court Tosses Lawsuit Against Ashcroft

He did not misuse power, justices agree in 8-0 vote

(Newser) - John Ashcroft is off the hook. The Supreme Court tossed out a lawsuit against the former attorney general in an 8-0 vote today, finding that he did not misuse his power or violate the 4th Amendment. American Muslim Abdullah al-Kidd sued after being arrested at Dulles Airport and held for... More »

Blackwater Hires John Ashcroft as Ethics Head

Move shows they're still hungry for government contracts

(Newser) - Xe Services, the artist formerly known as Blackwater, has hired none other than John Ashcroft to be its guiding light on ethics. Ashcroft has been named an “independent director” in charge of Xe’s new subcommittee on governance. His job? To “promote the highest degrees of ethics and... More »

High Court to Decide if Ashcroft Can Be Sued

Post-9/11 policy left Muslim American jailed without charge

(Newser) - The Supreme Court will step in to decide whether a Muslim American can sue John Ashcroft for a policy that led to his arrest in the wake of 9/11. The FBI arrested Kansas native Abdullah al-Kidd at Dulles International Airport in 2003, while he was preparing to board a flight... More »

Court: Ashcroft on Hook in Post-9/11 Detention Case

Bush attorney general slammed for imprisonment without charges

(Newser) - Former Bush attorney general John Ashcroft can be held personally responsible in a lawsuit brought by a US citizen who was detained on suspicion of being a material witness to terrorism but was never charged with a crime, an appellate court ruled today. Abdullah al-Kidd alleged the detention, begun in... More »

Ridge Takes Back Threat Level Claim in His Book

Retreats on earlier suggestion that politics played a role

(Newser) - Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge says the Bush administration “never pressured” him to raise the US terror threat level, backing down on a claim made in his book, USA Today reports. In the book, Ridge writes that John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld pushed him to elevate it before... More »

Wiretapping Memos Drafted in 'Inappropriate' Secrecy: Report

Only 3 Justice officials knew of program

(Newser) - The legal justification for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was handled with unprecedented secrecy that sidestepped usual Justice Department procedure, the Washington Post reports. Only three Justice officials—John Ashcroft, John Yoo, and staff attorney James Baker—were made aware of the program and participated in drafting memos... More »

Groups Move to Disbar Bush Lawyers Over Torture

Target Mukasey, Gonzalez, Ashcroft

(Newser) - A coalition of mostly left-leaning organizations is attempting to get a gaggle of Bush officials disbarred for sanctioning torture, the Legal Times reports. In complaints filed with five state bar associations today, the groups accuse ex-attorneys general Michael Mukasey, Alberto Gonzalez, and John Ashcroft—along with nine others—of violating... More »

Supreme Court Dumps Suit Vs. Mueller, Ashcroft

9/11 detainee faulted FBI head, former AG over confinement rules

(Newser) - The Supreme Court says a lawsuit against FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft by a former Sept. 11 detainee cannot go forward. The court today overturned a lower court decision that let Javaid Iqbal's lawsuit against the high-ranking officials proceed. Iqbal is a Pakistani Muslim who... More »

Secret White House Memos OK'd Waterboarding

Fearing backlash, CIA sought and received support

(Newser) - The Bush administration gave its blessing in writing for the CIA to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques in two secret memos that have only now come to light, the Washington Post reveals. Intelligence officials sought to get something on paper in 2003—more than a year after the... More »

In Politicizing Justice, 'Appalling' Betrayal

By injecting politics into hiring, Gonzales & Co. shatter public's faith

(Newser) - New confirmation that the Justice Department used political criteria in hiring for career positions shouldn’t just outrage the maybe-liberals they discriminated against, derailing careers because they were gay, say, or had a wife who was a Democrat, a former Clinton administration official writes in the Washington Post. It’s... More »

Justices Will Decide If Immigrant Can Sue Ashcroft

Pakistani man alleges abuse in post-9/11 roundup; top fed brass claims immunity

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today agreed to hear an appeal from John Ashcroft, with the former attorney general insisting top government officials cannot be sued by immigrants who allege they were beaten and abused after 9/11. Lower courts have refused to dismiss a suit from a man who was held for... More »

Showdown Looms Over Cheney Staffer

VP battling House subpoena for key aide on interrogation policy

(Newser) - Whether a key Dick Cheney aide can be forced to testify is at the heart of a pending blow-up between Congress and the White House over a probe into interrogation techniques, Reuters reports. The House Judiciary Committee plans to subpoena Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington—but the vice president... More »

Top Bushies Personally OK'd Tough Interrogation Tactics

Meetings show high-level approval of CIA's 'enhanced' detainee treatment

(Newser) - Senior White House officials explicitly approved interrogation technique details in several meetings beginning in 2002, sources tell ABC. It was previously known that the CIA drafted a “Golden Shield” memo approving highly specific tactics for use on al-Qaeda detainees, but that top officials—including Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin... More »

Justice Makes Corporate Deals, Avoids Trials

'Deferred prosecutions' cheaper, but may tempt companies to cheat

(Newser) - Instead of indicting major corporations for fraud and other forms of malfeasance, the Bush administration is relying more and more on deferred prosecutions, allowing companies to pay a fine and accept monitoring instead of going to trial. The name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are often... More »

Court Hears Gun Case Today

Nation's firearms laws in the balance as Supremes hear arguments

(Newser) - One of the oldest and most hotly debated constitutional amendments—the right to bear arms—comes under scrutiny by the Supreme Court today. The court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Washington DC's stringent ban on handguns. The ruling, which will arrive in June, is sure to have a... More »

Dems Slam Ashcroft for 'Backroom' $52M Contract

Ex-AG denies charges in House hearing

(Newser) - John Ashcroft angrily denied congressional Democrats' allegations today that a lucrative no-bid contract the Justice Department awarded him represents a conflict of interest, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Democrats characterized the contract as a “backroom sweetheart deal” because Ashcroft's ex-subordinates selected his firm to monitor a medical supply company... More »

Reporter Held in Contempt in Anthrax Story

Fine reaches $5K a day until she discloses source

(Newser) - A judge yesterday held a former USA Today reporter in contempt of court for refusing to disclose her sources in stories about the 2001 anthrax attacks, the AP reports. He also ordered her to pay daily fines reaching $5,000 out of her own pocket until she cooperates . The reporter... More »

Doctor Sues 3 Officials in Anthrax Case

Claims they leaked info, caused 'severe emotional distress'

(Newser) - A former army doctor identified as a "person of interest" in the 2001 anthrax attacks is suing three US officials for leaking information about him, the Los Angeles Times reports. In his five-year-old suit, physician Steven Hatfill claims the case caused him "severe emotional distress" and hindered his... More »

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