Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Pity the unlucky Matthew Friedrich. The top aide to Justice Department Criminal Division chief Alice Fisher, Friedrich, during his career at Justice, was a key member of the trial team that won the 2002 conviction of Arthur Andersen LLP before a Texas jury — only to see that conviction overturned unanimously last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. A onetime member of the Enron Task Force, he wasn’t among the four prosecutors (now showered with megabucks offers from private law firms) who handled the successful prosecution of former Enron heads Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. And last week his superiors sent him before the Senate Judiciary Committee to absorb the bile of senators angered by the Justice Department’s investigations of journalists. Of particular concern to the senators were DOJ’s probe into the leak of the National Security Agency’s warrantless domestic-eavesdropping program to The New York Times and the FBI’s attempts to rifle through the files of the late columnist Jack Anderson. During his stint before the committee, Friedrich declined to answer questions or told senators he didn’t know the response to their queries no fewer than a dozen times. “I would think that the department would send somebody here to testify that could answer our questions if they’ve got any respect for this committee whatsoever,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) told Friedrich. Added Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): “Is there any question that you guys are allowed to answer other than your title, time of day?” Tensions may have been high in part because DOJ declined the committee’s request to send Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. “I did not want you to be here as a punching bag,” said Leahy. “I just felt some of the people in your department maybe sent you up that way.” That statement led to one of the Justice official’s few direct responses. “I will have a much happier walk back down Pennsylvania Avenue knowing that, Senator,” Friedrich responded. He did not return calls seeking comment.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected]. Gabe Nelson can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.