Board Resolution ~ 04/25/1998

Condemning the Office of the Independent Counsel for Compelling Susan McDougal to Appear Before a Grand Jury

Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Condemning the Office of the Independent Counsel for Compelling Susan McDougal to Appear Before a Grand Jury 

Santa Monica, California

April 25, 1998

BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers that

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers condemns the action of the Whitewater Office of the Independent Counsel, led by Kenneth W. Starr, compelling Susan McDougal to re-appear before a Little Rock, Arkansas, grand jury where it was clear that she was still determined not to give testimony. Ms. McDougal had previously been imprisoned by a federal court for 18 months for declining to give testimony before that same grand jury. To imprison Ms. McDougal further, either by civil contempt of by an attempt to convict her for criminal contempt, would appear vindictive and ill-serve our nation's system of justice.

FURTHER, Susan McDougal, through her lawyer, for several months has raised -- with the U.S. District Court in Little Rock -- questions of conflict of interest and possible misconduct on the part of lawyers and agents of the Office of the Independent Counsel. She has sought a court hearing on these questions. There is a serious question as to whether the Office of the Independent Counsel will attempt to use contempt proceedings to block Ms. McDougal's obtaining an evidentiary hearing on these issues. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers condemns the use of contempt powers to impede judicial inquiry into issues relating to the integrity of the judicial process with respect to Ms. McDougal.

AND FURTHER, multiple issues of conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict, and possible misconduct have arisen with respect to the role of the Office of the Independent Counsel in the conduct of its investigation. In the interest of the integrity of America's judicial system, those issues must not be ignored. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers urges a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into these critical concerns.

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