90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Sharon Eubanks vs. the Bush Administration
photo

It’s tough out there for US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Yesterday in Chicago he ran from a press conference after three minutes as questions rained down on the political corruption of the Justice Department.

Former top attorney Sharon Eubanks threw another big rock in the pond last week. She led the department’s giant case against big tobacco, and sought $130 billion dollars in penalties.

At the last minute, White House appointees chopped that to $10 billion. This insider now charges politics and a betrayal of the American public.

This hour On Point: justice, politics, huge money and Sharon Eubanks.

Quotes from the Show:

“What was very interesting about this case was just at the close of trial, the government indicated that instead of 130 billion dollars, they would seek only 10 billion dollars [in smoking cessation remedies].” Jason McLure

“The reason that it’s so important right now for everyone to understand that these were politically motivated changes to what the government is seeking [in damages] is because the case continues to this day on appeal and the same individuals are in charge. When it came to light — the issue surrounding the firing of eight US attorneys — I began to think more deeply about what had happened in our case” Sharon Eubanks

“They tried to get the trial team, me and the attorneys working with me, to come up with a lower dollar amount. But by that time, we already had put in the evidence of the propriety of 130-billion-dollar remedy on smoking cessation. All of that evidence was in. One thing that I was told to do before we rested was to try to get in some other evidence that would weaken the strength of the evidence we had already put in.” Sharon Eubanks

“Every lawsuit filed by the United States, at least in the civil division, has to be approved by a political appointee — that’s just the nature of how business is conducted.” Sharon Eubanks

“I had voiced objections to the [dollar amount] proposal early on not based on a policy point of view, but based on legal considerations.” Frank Marine

“There should not be this much interference going on in our executive branch.” Listener from Atlanta

“The problem is that we persist in calling this the politicization of the Justice Department. This was criminal behavior and obstruction of justice.” Listener from Iowa

“It’s very typical of internal Justice Department investigations – they don’t ask questions they don’t want to hear answers to.” Jonathan Turley

Guests:

Jason McLure, Justice Department Reporter for Legal Times

Sharon Eubanks, former lead lawyer in U.S. vs. Phillip Morris et al., the federal government’s landmark racketeering lawsuit against the tobacco industry

Frank Marine, former member of the government’s legal team in U.S. vs. Phillip Morris et al.

Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law at George Washington University.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

 
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
3 Comments
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment