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Members of Congress Call for DoJ Investigation of Nifong

At least 7 members of Congress have called on the Department of Justice to probe the wrongdoing of former district attorney Michael Nifong in the Duke lacrosse case:

Walter Jones (R-NC):

Tom Feeney (R-FL) and Trent Franks (R-AZ):

  • December 22, 2006 letter to Alberto Gonzales requesting that the DoJ “review Mr. Nifong’s conduct in this matter to determine whether it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct.”

Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY):

  • Newsday article, January 12, 2007:

    DA in Duke Case Asks to be Removed

    “... Adding to the firestorm, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy joined the call for a federal probe into whether Nifong violated the civil rights of the three players.

    In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, McCarthy said she was “very concerned” Nifong may have “violated several federal criminal statutes in his vigorous prosecution of” the players, who also include David Evans, 23, of Bethesda, Md., and Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J.

    McCarthy (D-Mineola) sent the letter this week after meeting with Finnerty and his family at the family’s request. The family lives in her district.

    McCarthy later met separately with Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), who had written to Gonzales in December requesting an investigation.

    “We’re not saying definitively that his civil rights were violated, but we support the initiative taken by Congressman Jones asking the attorney general to look into it,” McCarthy spokesman George Burke said Friday.”

    Article can be found at: http://johnsville.blogspot.com/2007_01_01_archive.html

Peter King (R-NY):

  • Washington Times article, January 19, 2007:

    "I am deeply disappointed by your apparent decision to defer a decision whether to investigate Mr. Nifong's prosecution of this case," Mr. King said, referring to rejections last week of probe requests by Reps. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican, and Carolyn McCarthy, New York Democrat.

    "I urge you to reconsider your decision."

    Mr. King said the Justice Department probe should target Mr. Nifong and members of his staff, including investigator Lindell Wilson; the Durham Police Department, including Officers Mark Gottlieb and Benjamin Himan; and DNA Security Inc., including its director, Brian Meehan.

    He said the investigation should determine whether "these and other individuals conspired to violate and violated the constitutionally guaranteed civil rights of Collin and his two former teammates."

    Article can be found at: http://perrinelson.com/2007/1/19/

Todd Tiahrt (R-KS):

  • Letter to constituent, posted March 5, 2007:

    “It is always good to hear from constituents, even if it is regarding tragic situations.

    I too am troubled by the conduct of the Durham District Attorney in the case. It would appear that Mr. Nifong violated police procedure in suspect identification and made improper and inflammatory remarks to the media. Most troubling is the claim that he withheld potentially exculpatory DNA evidence.

    One of the pillars of our judicial system is the right to a fair trial. I have contacted the US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, to look into the matter. I hope he will do so and determine whether it constitutes prosecutorial misconduct.”

    Letter can be found at: http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?showtopic=2355#entry8216619

Barack Obama (D-IL):

  • March 5, 2007 letter to a constituent:

    “Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective on the Duke Rape Case and ongoing investigations of District Attorney Michael Nifong's handling of the case.”

    “Congressman Walter Jones has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to initiate a federal inquiry into Mr. Nifong's prosecution of three Duke University student athletes accused of an alleged sexual attack on a woman at a party earlier this year. Specifically, Rep. Jones asked the Attorney General to review new evidence that Mr. Nifong withehld exculpatory DNA results from the defendants in order to determine if his conduct has illegally denied the students their civil rights as U.S. citizens under federal law. This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely.”

    Letter can be found at: http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?showtopic=2639#entry8436468