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A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance CompanyExecutive offices, Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Pres. Improper Political Influence In The Justice Department By Charles E. Goodell The following statement by Charles E. Goodell, former U.S. Senator and now Chairman of the Committee for Public Justice, was made to the Separation of Powers Sub-Committee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on March 28, 1974, and is reprinted by permission. The Committee for Public Justice is an independent organization affiliated with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation. It studies and is concerned with individual rights and civil liberties of American citizens. As part of its efforts at public education concerning these problems it has held a number of conferences relating to the administration of justice. It held the first comprehensive conference on the FBI at Princeton University. This conference was attended by 50 experts on the FBI, including former FBI agents, ex-justice department officials, and many other writers and academic figures, of all points of view, who have made the FBI a special area of their interest. The conference examined a wide range of issues, such as the Bureau’s history and responsibilities, its relations with other police forces, its performance in the areas of civil rights and organized crime, the collection and dissemination of personal and political information, and the use of electronic surveillance and informers. Papers from that conference, together with panel and other discussions, have been published in a book entitled Investigating the FBI. In May, 1972, the Committee held a conference on the current use and abuses of the Grand Jury. The conference discussed the historical origins of the Grand Jury, the original constitutional intent and subsequent development of the .institution, and the current practices, including the threat to individual rights by misuse of the Grand Jury by present-day prosecutors. Attending and participating were a number of citizens who themselves were called to testify before Grand Juries. A book based upon the conference will be published shortly by Quadrangle Books. Most recently it has held a conference into the functioning of the Department of Justice. It was sponsored by Senator Philip Hart and was held in the Senate Office Building on February 7, 8, and 9th, 1974. I am including as an appendix to my written statement a summary of the conclusions of that conference. We believe that the problems which S.2803 seeks to deal with are extremely important. The Department of Justice has greater power over the day-to-day lives of American citizens than any other agency of government. It is vital that the administration of justice should be even-handed and insulated from improper political influence. However, we do not feel that it is necessary or desirable to separate the Department of Justice from the Executive branch of government. We feel that other less drastic solutions are possible, including the appointment of an independent permanent prosecutor. Accordingly, we are supporting S.2978, a Bill to establish a special commission to study theestablishment of a permanent special prosecutor’s office. We believe there are other more effective ways of dealing with the problem of improper political influence in the Justice Department. Among the steps which we believe should be taken are the following: 1.Persons involved in the political process as candidates or managers should not be appointed to high positions in the Department for two years after they served in their political positions. Department officials should not speak for political candidates or collect funds for political campaigns. It might be desirable to have ,persons of the opposite party appointed to a certain number of positions in the Department, including the criminal division. 2.The Attorney General must have the final word on prosecutions. No one, not even the President, should interfere with individual cases. He may set policy but not dictate specific steps that should be taken. If the President does not like what his Attorney General is doing, he should fire him. In England it is clear that the Attorney General has the final word on all prosecutorial decisions. 3.Above all, the Attorney General must appoint people of integrity in the Department who believe in the rule of law. The Justice Department should not be considered a refuge for defeated political candidates who have had little experience in law enforcement and the administration of justice. 4.In addition, there must he thorough and continuous oversight by Congress with respect to both the Justice Department and the FBI. A special Congressional panel with permanent staff must be established to continuously check into improper actions by the Department and the Bureaii. A joint Senate/House committee along the lines of the CIA oversight committee would. be desirable. 5.A citizens panel should also be established that can explore invasions of individual’s rights on a continuous basis. It would have the authority to check into claims of abuse of power, to make public cases of denial of rights and to press for redress of grievances. .6. Most important, we believe a permanent special prosecutor’s office is desirable. Mr. Lloyd Cutler offered a plan at our Justice Department conference which we believe has many positive features. The main idea of the plan is as follows: 1.A special prosecutor would be appointed for a six-year term with the advice and consent of the Senate. 2.A deputy might also he appointed who would be of the opposite political party of the special prosecutor. 3.Removal would be possible only for. incapacity or misconduct. 4.The special prosecutor would have jurisdiction over all by present or former government officials, or national political 5.The special prosecutor would be able to use all the investigative resources of the FBI and could prosecute all cases within his jurisdiction. The special prosecutor could check into the types of crime associated with Watergate, and into other acts of corruption. It would do so in a way that does not present any potentiat.. conflict of interest which may take place when the Justice -: Department must investigate its own political allies or superiors. The plan also has the virtue of providing a check on over-reachings by government officers, particularly Justit Department figures and FBI agents when they interfere wi .,