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December 16, 2007

As the revolving door turns: Aschroft cashes in

Former Attorney General John Aschroft has landed a lucrative contract from a former employee, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie.

The Aschcroft Group will oversee a $311 million deferred prosecution agreement against a company that made medical devices. For 18 months of service, the firm will be paid between $29 million and $52 million, according to the Project on Government Oversight.

POGO's Neil Gordon explains:

Deferred prosecution agreements (and a variant called non-prosecution agreements) are a new weapon gaining in popularity among federal prosecutors. They are starting to show up in POGO’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database. Deferred prosecution agreements usually involve court involvement or oversight. However, the deal arranged in the Zimmer Holdings matter was crafted entirely at Christie’s discretion. The companies under investigation faced a difficult choice: either agree to Christie’s terms and pay the substantial fees charged by the monitors that he appointed, or face prosecution. Also, fee arrangements for corporate monitors are usually secret; Zimmer Holdings took the rare step of disclosing its compensation arrangement with Ashcroft in an SEC filing.

Christie said he had nothing to do with arranging Ashcroft’s fee, which he justified as a “real bargain” for taxpayers. However, Christie used the hefty monitoring fees the companies agreed to pay as an excuse not to impose any criminal fines. Is it really a “bargain” if, instead of paying back the government, companies who cheat the public are instead forced to enrich the lucky few who have connections to a U.S. Attorney? [POGO]

With sweet deals like this to be had, it's no wonder Republicans felt the need to appoint politically friendly US Attorneys.

Last month, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) joined Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in calling on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate deferred prosecutions.

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Comments

It seems like U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie arranged for a bribe-via a payment to his friend John Ashcroft's company-in exchange for not prosecuting.

shameless

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Wow.

Just wow.

I'm sure mafia "enforcers" everywhere are in jealous rages.

Now this is journalism, why can't we have more journalism like this on the corporate broadcasts? Yea I know the answer... anyway great work bravo!

While my first reaction is disbelief I know better after 7 years with this administration in office. Bob's comment above about Mafia types being jealous is right on. What a scam! The two congressmen from NJ have probably seen shakedowns before and I certainly hope they succeed in their call for an investigation.

After Ashcroft's corporation gains a lion's share of influence, you can bet someone like the Bin Ladens will buy him out and keep him on as an adviser.

It is so clearly obvious that everything in America is up for sale.

In my lifetime, I fully expect to learn that the original US Constitution has been moved to hang in a penthouse in Dubai.

>>> In my lifetime, I fully expect to learn that the original US Constitution has been moved to hang in a penthouse in Dubai.

Actually, it's been hanging in an Outhouse in Crawford, TX.

Slippery fucker. Ashcroft doesn’t anoint himself with Crisco for nothing.

Mention of Ashcroft shouldn’t pass without a link to his toe tappin’ gospel music, including the incomparable ”Let The Eagle Soar”.

"Christie said he had nothing to do with arranging Ashcroft’s fee, which he justified as a 'real bargain' for taxpayers."

Words which invariably tell you you're really about to get f**ked.

Hey, we all knew the conservative movement was about privatizing corruption.

This is just the latest fact which proves it.

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