DOJ denies US Attorneys were fired for Indian work

Opening Statements

Panel 1 - Testimony | Q&A

Panel 2 - Testimony | Q&A

Hearing Info
A Department of Justice spokesperson denied firing any U.S. Attorneys for their work on Indian issues.

Of the eight federal prosecutors who were dismissed last December, five represented states with significant Indian Country and all were leaders on the Native American Issues Subcommittee at DOJ. Former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger of Minnesota, the chair of the subcommittee, was also targeted for firing.

At a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing yesterday, Heffelfinger said it was "not a coincidence" that so many prosecutors with Indian experience were fired. He said it would be up to Congress to ask Kyle Sampson -- a former aide to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- to explain why certain people were targeted.

Another former Gonzales aide, Monica Goodling, previously told Congress that Hefflefinger was a target because he spent "too much time" on Indian issues.

Get the Story:
Heffelfinger speculates on why he made firing list (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/22)
Senate hears of tribal law enforcement struggles (The Billings Gazette 6/22)
Domenici's Role Got Downplayed (The Albuquerque Journal 6/22)
Senators vow action to curb violence on Indian land (AP 6/21)

Senate Hearing:
OVERSIGHT HEARING on law enforcement in Indian Country (June 21, 2007)

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