Chairs Conyers and Sánchez Demand Ashcroft Testimony About $52 Million No-bid Contract

From the Judiciary Committee:

Conyers and Sánchez Demand Ashcroft Testimony About $52 Million No-bid Contract

(Washington, DC)- 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.”

Full text of the letter (pdf):

Dear 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 verbatim 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. These documents may be e-mailed to Eric Tamarkin, Subcommittee Counsel.

Please forward 50 copies of the written statement to the Subcommittee at room 2138 Rayburn House Office Building by no later than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, February 25, 2008. If a published document or report is to be introduced as part of the written statement, 50 copies should be provided. Due to delays with our mail delivery system, the copies should be hand-delivered in an unsealed package to Adam Russell, Staff Assistant, in room 2138 Rayburn House Office Building.

Additionally, the Rules of the House require a disclosure of the amount and source (by agency and program) of any Federal grant (or subgrant thereof) or contract (or subcontract thereof) which is relevant to your testimony and was received, by you or an entity which you represent, during the current fiscal year; or, either of the two preceding fiscal years. Therefore, please fill out the enclosed “Truth in Testimony” Disclosure Form and fax it to the Subcommittee at (202) 225-3746 prior to the hearing.

Section 210 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 applies the rights and protections covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Accordingly, the Committee on the Judiciary strives to accommodate/meet the needs of those requiring special assistance. If you need special accommodation, please contact the Committee on the Judiciary in advance of the scheduled event (3 days requested) at (202) 225-3951.

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