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DOJ defends seeking $10B in tobacco industry case

The Department of Justice on Wednesday defended its decision to seek $10 billion, instead of the initial $280 billion, from tobacco companies accused of misleading the public.

DOJ said the reduction was based on a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that limited the penalties that could be imposed on the industry. The Washington Post reported that witnesses were asked to change their testimony when asked about potential sanctions.

DOJ officials denied politics had anything to do with the decision. But Democrats are calling for an investigation, noting that Associate Attorney General Robert D. McCallum Jr., who also works on the Cobell trust fund case, is a former lawyer for R.J. Reynolds.

Get the Story:
Tobacco Witnesses Were Told To Ease Up (The Washington Post 6/9)
Award Limit in Tobacco Case Sets Off a Strenuous Protest (The New York Times 6/9)

Relevant Links:
Tobacco Litigation -

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