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 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

 
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

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 »
Comment
 
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