Never mind

Former U.S. attorney backtracks -- sort of -- on testimony that Justice Department official approved election-week indictments.

By Tim Grieve
Published June 12, 2007 8:34PM (UTC)
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When senators asked former Missouri U.S. Attorney Brad Schlozman how it was that he came to bring indictments in voting fraud cases just a week before the 2006 elections -- an apparent violation of Justice Department policy -- he testified, under oath, that Craig Donsanto, director of the Justice Department's election crimes branch, gave the go-ahead for the cases.

"His response," Schlozman said, "was if you've got the investigation ready to go, go ahead and indict, there's no reason to wait until after the election."


That was last week. But now, in a letter of "clarification" sent to Senate Judicary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, Schlozman says -- well, it's a little hard to know what Schlozman says:

"I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify my testimony with regard to the timing of the voter registration fraud indictments against four employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now ('ACORN')," Schlozman writes. "I did state in response to various questions during my testimony that the long-time career head of the Public Integrity Section's Election Crimes Branch had 'directed' me to file the indictments prior to the November 2006 election ... I want to be clear that, while I relied on the consultation with, and suggestions of, the Election Crimes Branch in bringing the indictments when I did, I take full responsibility for the decision to move forward with the prosecutions related to ACORN while I was the interim U.S. Attorney."

Correction: An earlier version of this post identified Schlozman as a former U.S. attorney from Minnesota. In fact, he served in Missouri.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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