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An 86-page Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility report and Federal Bureau of Investigation documents unsealed late last month provide an inside view of the Newton Street case. What follows are excerpts from the OPR report as well as FBI statements summarizing interviews with key government officials at the time. Eric Holder Jr. was U.S. attorney in the District during the Newton Street Crew trial. He went on to serve as deputy attorney general and is now a partner at Covington & Burling. Holder told OPR investigators in 1997 that “it shocked him to hear that Howes had generated approximately $142,000 in witness vouchers between the [Newton Street Crew] and Javier Card cases.” In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office ” ‘put up’ with a lot from Howes because of all that he accomplished in his prosecutions.” G. Paul Howes was the lead prosecutor of the Newton Street Crew case. Today he is a partner at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach in San Diego. Howes told OPR investigators that “different circumstances could trigger a witness receiving a voucher. Those circumstances could be: a witness providing case information in a personal appearance at the U.S. Attorney’s Office; a phone call in which information was provided; or when an officer met with a witness and received information.” Lynn Leibovitz was an assistant U.S. attorney on the Newton Street Crew prosecution team, and today is a judge on D.C. Superior Court. According to the FBI summary, Leibovitz “described Howes as a loner attorney with a big ego. Leibovitz recalled that in the early part of 1993 prior to the U.S. v. Hoyle trial, she was in Howes’ office when he was preparing a two-day witness voucher for someone who should only have been paid for one day. Leibovitz took Howes aside and asked him not to do it again. Howes promised Leibovitz that it would not occur again.” Jeffrey Ragsdale is an assistant U.S. attorney who was part of the Newton Street Crew prosecution team. Ragsdale, according to the FBI summary, “believed the voucher system was wide open for abuse. Ragsdale described how it was possible to take a stack of vouchers at one time and have carte blanche as to their completion.” William O’Malley was deputy chief of the Narcotics Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office during the Newton Street Crew prosecution. He is currently an assistant U.S. attorney in the Organized Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section. O’Malley, according to the OPR report, had raised numerous concerns about Howes during the Newton Street trial. He said Howes managed to follow his own rules in the office because most supervisors did not want to confront “so volatile a person.” O’Malley told DOJ investigators that Howes is “a cowboy in everything he does” and was “a man who chased monsters and became one himself.”

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