Letter: Rep. Barney Frank Takes Issue With Ashcroft Response of May 12, 2003

Posted to Web: September 8, 2003

J4JP Prefacing Note:

This is the third of a series of three letters. Congressman Barney Frank originally wrote to Attorney General John Ashcroft on August 12, 2002 requesting that he grant Jonathan Pollard's security-cleared attorneys access to the secret portions of Jonathan's sentencing docket. Nearly a year would go by before he received a response from Ashcroft's office, completely side-stepping the issue. Frank issued the following letter expressing his dissatisfaction with the response he had received. There has been no further reply to date. Links to the other letters follow the text below.


June 3, 2003

Ms. Jamie E. Brown
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
U. S. Department of Justice
Office of Legislative Affairs
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 1145
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Ms. Brown,

Your letter to me is as I am sure you understood when you signed it completely irrelevant to the point that I made. You give me, in response to my request that Jonathan Pollard's counsel be given access to classified documents, a history of the litigation involving this matter. But of course the litigation was occasioned by your department's refusal to make the documents available. I was not addressing the court. I was addressing the Attorney general and your telling me that the court agreed with the Attorney General that there is no legal basis for compelling him to release the documents is of course entirely beside the point of my letter.

So in the perhaps vain hope that you will give me a substantive answer, I repeat my request that you i.e. the Justice Department make available to Mr. Pollard's counsel the documents filed in 1987. I find it very hard to believe that there is any national security information that would be compromised by making these documents available, and if in fact there were specific redactions that had to be made involving particular names of individuals, that could be done. Withholding all the documents seems to me unjustified, and that is why I wrote to the Attorney General not, again, to emphasize the point that seems to escape you to the judge.

Barney Frank

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