A watchdog group said Wednesday that it is asking the Justice Department to release its files in at least two closed corruption investigations of U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.
Washington, D.C.,-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal-leaning nonprofit, will go to court if, as likely, the Justice Department claims the files are exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, said CREW executive director Melanie Sloan.
Along with Young, CREW is seeking the investigative files of Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis from Redlands, Calif., who was accused of steering earmarks to the clients of a lobbyist friend. It earlier asked the Justice Department for the investigations of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, who pleaded guilty in September to making hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign contributions.
"And we will be suing -- we're going to litigate all of them," Sloan said in an interview. "The Public Integrity Section, in our view, is not doing its job and we want to know why."
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The Justice Department's Public Integrity Section prosecutes high profile political crimes and led the corruption investigation into Alaska's politics. But after getting convictions of three Alaska legislators, several businessmen and a lobbyist, the investigation collapsed under allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in the 2008 trial of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.
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