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Does the U.S. Department of Justice want to muzzle whistleblowers? Several prosecutors and investigators who work inside the nation’s top law enforcement agency have sued it in recent months, claiming that the department has retaliated against them after they sought to report wrongdoing. In one case, top officials supposedly pursued payback by leaking the name of a confidential informant to a newspaper. The leaking charge comes in a suit filed in February by an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit, Richard Convertino. He says in his complaint that department officials divulged to the Detroit Free Press that they were investigating him, and then revealed the name of a confidential informant. Their aim, he charges: “render it difficult, if not impossible, for plaintiff to work in the future with” informants, ruining his ability to be a prosecutor. Behind closed doors, Convertino had criticized the department for lack of commitment to prosecuting terrorists. He had won the first terrorism-related jury verdict in the country after the Sept. 11 attacks, although it has been appealed on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. Overall, the group of lawsuits follow a pattern that could embarrass the department’s top brass: All these whistleblower plaintiffs came forward over national security concerns. Other law enforcement whistleblowers now in the courts include:

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