Grassley Presses Attorney General Nominee About DOJ "Defrauding the Court" in Dobyns ATF Case

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Feb 12, 2015 12:00 PM
Grassley Presses Attorney General Nominee About DOJ "Defrauding the Court" in Dobyns ATF Case
Late last week Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch about revelations Department of Justice attorneys "defrauded" the court and intimidated witnesses in the case of ATF whistleblower Jay Dobyns against the government.

"A Federal judge wrote that DOJ attorneys attempted to perpetrate a 'fraud upon the court' in a case involving Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agent Jay Dobyns. U.S. District Court Judge Francis Allegra also took the unusual steps of submitting these findings to Attorney General Holder. If confirmed will you personally review Judge Allegras submission to ensure that appropriate disciplinary action in taken in this case, and will you pledge to provide updates to this committee about the status?" Grassley asked Lynch. 

Lynch quickly responded to the question and has promised to look into the matter. 

"As the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York I am not familiar with the details of this matter, so I am not in a position to know what personnel actions have taken place to date or whether they were appropriate," Lynch said. "If I am confirmed as Attorney General, I will commit to ensuring that the Department holds accountable any employees who are found to have committed misconduct."

Meanwhile, the defrauding charges are so severe, Judge Allegra has ordered a Special Master to be appointed to the Dobyns case. In October 2014, Allegra voided his previous August 2014 ruling in the case after new evidence of intimidation and alleged fraud was discovered. Further, Grassley is scrutinizing the judicial nomination of Federal Circuit Bar Association President Jeanne Davidson for on her involvement.