Murkowski Continues Push for DOJ Transparency, Trust

Senator: We Must Clean Up Law Enforcement Processes

Senator Murkowski today announced she is co-sponsoring the bipartisan Inspector General Access Act (S.618), to improve and promote accountability standards within the U.S. Department of Justice to restore Americans’ trust in law enforcement.

This legislation will allow the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate all allegations of misconduct. Currently, allegations of attorney misconduct are investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility, which reports to the Attorney General rather than the autonomous Office of the Inspector General.  Earlier this week, a USA Today investigative report found continued DOJ apathy when it comes to improving the integrity of its process.

“The Department of Justice is still viewed very warily by Alaskans because of their extreme misconduct in the Ted Stevens trial, and faith can’t be restored without concrete actions like those put forward in this legislation,” said Senator Murkowski.  “I am proud to work with my colleagues to clean up Justice Department procedures and provide assurances that those charged with enforcing the law must abide by it as well.”

Background – Senator Lisa Murkowski has been resolute in her efforts to clean up the processes within the Department of Justice, specifically:

  • Senator Murkowski has sought greater accountability and transparency from the Department of Justice since before the Ted Stevens verdict was thrown out at the request of Attorney General Eric Holder because DOJ attorneys withheld key evidence.
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced major bipartisan legislation in the previous Congressional Session, the Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act, designed to create a nationwide standard for disclosure of exculpatory evidence to defendants in federal courtrooms nationwide.
  • Murkowski has repeatedly questioned government officials about the discipline imposed against the DOJ attorneys who handled the Stevens’ case, but her questions have gone unanswered.
  • Just last December, the Government Accountability Office released a study done at Murkowski’s request about prosecutorial misconduct, finding a lack of progress, oversight and follow through by the Department.