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Patriot Act Changes Gave DOJ Control

Posted May 2, 2007 9:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The same day that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales assured a federal judge that a Montana U.S. attorney who worked in Washington was not violating federal law, that Montana prosecutor had a GOP senate staffer insert a provision to eliminate residency restrictions into a bill.

The Washington Post says the incident is another example of Gonzales saying one thing while his aides do another. It is also an example of how the Justice Department sought to change the USA Patriot Act to gain more power in the appointments of U.S. attorneys.

A DOJ spokesman says the residency amendment merely clarified the law.

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