Statement of Alberto R. Gonzales Attorney General

Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate

Concerning Oversight of the Department of Justice

Presented April 17, 2007



Apr 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

    WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Good morning Chairman
 Leahy, Ranking Member Specter, and Members of the Committee.
     Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today to discuss some of
 the important work currently underway at the Department of Justice. I would
 like to share some of the Department's recent accomplishments and outline
 the priorities of the Department in the coming months. I also would like to
 address any concerns the Committee may have regarding the Department's
 varied responsibilities. I welcome the chance to enhance the dialogue
 between these two Branches of government.
     Resignations of U.S. Attorneys
     First, I will address the issue of the resignations of eight of 93 U.S.
 Attorneys. I know this is an issue of concern to the Committee, and I want
 you to know that I share your commitment to bringing all of the facts to
 light on this matter. I hope we can make great progress on that goal today.
     I also want the Committee and those U.S. Attorneys to know how much I
 appreciate their public service. Each is a fine lawyer and dedicated
 professional who gave many years of service to the Department. I apologize
 to them and to their families for allowing this matter to become an
 unfortunate and undignified public spectacle, and I am sorry for my
 missteps that have helped to fuel the controversy.
     The Justice Department has tried to be forthcoming with the Congress
 and the American people about the process that led to the resignations. The
 Department has provided thousands of pages of internal and deliberative
 documents to the Congress. I consistently and voluntarily have made Justice
 Department officials available for interviews and hearings on this subject.
     I have taken these important steps to provide information for two
 critical reasons: (1) I have nothing to hide, and (2) I am committed to
 assuring the Congress and the American public that nothing improper
 occurred here. The sooner that all the facts are known, the sooner we can
 all devote our exclusive attention to our important work -- work that
 includes protecting the American people from the dangers of terrorism,
 violent crime, illegal drugs, and sexual predators. I know that the
 Committee must be eager to focus on those issues of great importance to the
 American people as well.
     At this point, we can all agree that U.S. Attorneys serve at the
 pleasure of the President. We further should agree on a definition of what
 an "improper" reason for the removal of a U.S. Attorney would be. As former
 Acting Solicitor General and Assistant Attorney General Walter Dellinger
 has stated, an improper reason would be: "The replacement of one or more
 U.S. attorneys in order to impede or speed along particular criminal
 investigations for illegitimate reasons."(1)
     I agree with that. Stated differently, the Department of Justice makes
 decisions based on the evidence, not whether the target is a Republican or
 a Democrat.
     For the benefit of the Committee as well as for the American people, I
 would like to be abundantly clear about the decision to request the
 resignations of eight (of the 93) United States Attorneys - each of whom
 had served his or her full four-year term of office:
     I know that I did not, and would not, ask for a resignation of any
 individual in order to interfere with or influence a particular prosecution
 for partisan political gain.
     I also have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process
 sought the removal of a U.S. Attorney for an improper reason.
     These facts have been made clear through the testimony of Justice
 Department officials who have appeared before the Congress, as well as by
 the thousands of pages of internal documents that the Department of Justice
 has released. Based upon the record as I know it, it is unfair and
 unfounded for anyone to conclude that any U.S. Attorney was removed for an
 improper reason. Our record in bringing aggressive prosecutions without
 fear or favor and irrespective of political affiliations -- a record I am
 very proud of -- is beyond reproach.
     While reasonable people may dispute whether or not the actual reasons
 for these decisions were sufficient to justify a particular resignation,
 again, there is no factual basis to support the allegation, as many have
 made, that these resignations were motivated by improper reasons. As this
 Committee knows, however, to provide more certainty, I have asked the
 Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to
 investigate this matter. Working with the Department's Office of Inspector
 General (OIG), these non-partisan professionals will complete their own
 independent investigation so that the Congress and the American people can
 be 100 percent assured of the facts.
     The Committee should also know that, to ensure the independence and
 integrity of these investigations, and the investigations of congressional
 committees, I have not spoken with nor reviewed the confidential
 transcripts of any of the Department of Justice employees interviewed by
 congressional staff. I state this because, as a result, I may be somewhat
 limited when it comes to providing you with all of the facts that you may
 desire. I hope you understand that, to me, it was absolutely essential that
 the investigative work proceeds in a manner free of any complications by my
 efforts to prepare for this testimony.
     While I firmly believe that these dismissals were appropriate, I have
 equal conviction that the process by which these U.S. Attorneys were asked
 to resign could have -- and should have -- been handled differently.
     I made mistakes in not ensuring that these U.S. Attorneys received more
 dignified treatment. Others within the Department of Justice also made
 mistakes. As far as I know, these were honest mistakes of perception and
 judgment and not intentional acts of misconduct. The American public needs
 to know of the good faith and dedication of those who serve them at the
 Department of Justice.
     As I have stated before, I want to be as crisp and clear as I can be
 with the Committee about the facts of my involvement in this matter as I
 recall them.
     The Coordination Process
     Shortly after the 2004 election and soon after I became Attorney
 General, my then-deputy-chief-of-staff Kyle Sampson told me that
 then-Counsel to the President Harriet Miers had inquired about replacing
 all 93 U.S. Attorneys. Mr. Sampson and I both agreed that replacing all 93
 U.S. Attorneys would be disruptive and unwise. However, I believed it would
 be appropriate and a good management decision to evaluate the U.S.
 Attorneys and determine the districts where a change may be beneficial to
 the Department.
     I delegated the task of coordinating a review to Mr. Sampson in early
 2005. Mr. Sampson is a good man and was a dedicated public servant. I
 believed that he was the right person (1) to collect insight and opinions,
 including his own, from Department officials with the most knowledge of
 U.S. Attorneys and (2) to provide, based on that collective judgment, a
 consensus recommendation of the Department's senior leadership on districts
 that could benefit from a change.
     I recall telling Mr. Sampson that I wanted him to consult with
 appropriate Justice Department senior officials who would have the most
 relevant knowledge and information about the performance of the U.S.
 Attorneys. It was to be a group of officials, including the Deputy Attorney
 General, who were much more knowledgeable than I about the performance of
 each U.S. Attorney. I also told him to make sure that the White House was
 kept informed since the U.S. Attorneys are presidential appointees.
     Mr. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his
 updates were brief, relatively few in number, and focused primarily on the
 review process itself. During those updates, to my knowledge, I did not
 make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.
     For instance, I recall two specific instances when Mr. Sampson
 mentioned to me that Harriet Miers had asked about the status of the
 Department's evaluation of U.S. Attorneys.
     I also recall Mr. Sampson mentioning Assistant Attorney General Rachel
 Brand as a possible candidate to be U.S. Attorney if a vacancy were to
 occur. I am not sure he mentioned a specific district, but it may have been
 Michigan. I do not recall my response, nor when it happened. But I do
 recall thinking I did not want to lose Ms. Brand as head of Legal Policy. I
 also recall Mr. Sampson mentioning career prosecutor Deborah Rhodes for San
 Diego in the event of a vacancy. I do not recall my response or any other
 discussion. Nor do I recall the timing of when this was raised with me.
 Although these names were mentioned to me, I do not recall making any
 decision, either on or before December 7, 2006, about who should replace
 the U.S. Attorneys who were asked to resign that day.
     Near the end of the process, as I have said many times, Kyle Sampson
 presented me with the final recommendations, which I approved. I did so
 because I understood that the recommendations represented the consensus of
 senior Justice Department officials most knowledgeable about the
 performance of all 93 U.S. Attorneys. I also remember that, at some point
 in time, Mr. Sampson explained to me the plan to inform the U.S. Attorneys
 of my decision.
     ***
     I believed the process that Mr. Sampson was coordinating would produce
 the best result by including those senior Justice Department officials with
 the most knowledge about this matter. As in other areas of the Department's
 work -- whether creating a plan to combat terrorism or targeting dangerous
 drugs like methamphetamine -- my goal was to improve the performance of the
 Justice Department. And as in other areas of the Department's work, I
 expected a process to be established that would lead to recommendations
 based on the collective judgment and opinions of those with the most
 knowledge within the Department.
     In hindsight, I would have handled this differently. As a manager, I am
 aware that decisions involving personnel are some of the most difficult and
 challenging decisions one can make. United States Attorneys serve at the
 pleasure of the President, but looking back, it is clear to me that I
 should have done more personally to ensure that the review process was more
 rigorous, and that each U.S. Attorney was informed of this decision in a
 more personal and respectful way.
     I also want to address suggestions that I intentionally made false
 statements about my involvement in this process. These suggestions have
 been personally very painful to me. I have always sought the truth. I never
 sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people about my
 role in this matter. I do acknowledge however that at times I have been
 less than precise with my words when discussing the resignations.
     For example, I misspoke at a press conference on March 13th when I said
 that I "was not involved in any discussions about what was going on." That
 statement was too broad. At that same press conference, I made clear that I
 was aware of the process; I said that "I knew my chief of staff was
 involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers. Where
 were the districts around the country where we could do better for the
 people in that district, and that's what I knew." Of course, I knew about
 the process because of, at a minimum, these discussions with Mr. Sampson.
 Thus, my statement about "discussions" was imprecise and overbroad, but it
 certainly was not in anyway an attempt to mislead the American people.
     I certainly understand why these statements generated confusion, and I
 regret that. I have tried to clarify my words in later interviews with the
 media, and will be happy to answer any further questions the Committee may
 have today about those statements.
     It is said that actions speak louder than words. And my actions in this
 matter do indeed show that I have endeavored to be forthcoming with the
 Congress and the American people.
     I am dedicated to correcting both the management missteps and the
 ensuing public confusion that now surrounds what should have been a benign
 situation. For example:
     In recent weeks I have met personally with more than 70 U.S. Attorneys
 around the country to hear their concerns and discuss ways to improve
 communication and coordination between their offices and Main Justice.
     These discussions have been frank, and good ideas are coming out,
 including ways to improve communication between the Department and their
 offices so that every United States Attorney can know whether their
 performance is at the level expected by the Attorney General and the Deputy
 Attorney General. Additionally, I have asked the members of the Attorney
 General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys to present to me
 recommendations on formal and informal steps that we can take to improve
 communication.
     During these meetings I am also sharing with the U.S. Attorney
 community several key messages that I wish to also share with the
 Committee:
     First, the process of selecting U.S. Attorneys to be asked to resign,
 while not improper, should have been more rigorous and should have been
 completed in a much shorter period of time.
     Second, every U.S. Attorney who was asked to resign -- Dan Bogden,
 Margaret Chiara, Paul Charlton, David Iglesias, Carol Lam, John McKay,
 Kevin Ryan, and Bud Cummins -- served honorably, and they and their
 families made sacrifices in the name of public service. The Justice
 Department owes them more respect than they were shown. In some cases,
 Department leaders should have worked with them to make improvements where
 they were needed. In all cases, I should have communicated the concerns
 more effectively, and I should have informed them of my decisions in a more
 dignified manner. This process could have been handled much better and for
 that I want to apologize publicly.
     And third, I am also telling our 93 U.S. Attorneys that I look forward
 to working with them to pursue the great goals of our Department in the
 weeks and months to come. I have told them that I expected all of them to
 continue to do their jobs in the way they deem best and without any
 improper interference from anyone. Likewise, in those offices where U.S.
 Attorneys have recently departed, I emphasized the need to continue to
 aggressively investigate and prosecute all matters -- sensitive or
 otherwise -- currently being handled by those offices.
     I wish to extend that sentiment to the Committee as well. During the
 past two years, we have made great strides in securing our country from
 terrorism, protecting our neighborhoods from gangs and drugs, shielding our
 children from predators and pedophiles, and protecting the public trust by
 prosecuting public corruption. Recent events must not deter us from our
 mission. I ask the Committee to join me in that commitment and that
 re-dedication.
     We must ensure that all the facts surrounding the situation are brought
 to full light. It is my sincere hope that today's hearing brings us closer
 to a clearing of the air on the eight resignations.
     That is why I intend to stay here as long as it takes to answer all of
 the questions the Committee may have about my involvement in this matter. I
 want this Committee to be satisfied, to be fully reassured, that nothing
 improper was done. I want the American people to be reassured of the same.
     National Security
     As you well know, since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the
 Department's top priority has been to protect the Nation from the threat of
 terrorism. We are proud of our efforts to secure the Nation and are reaping
 the benefits of the momentous changes to the counterterrorism and
 counterintelligence programs we instituted during the last year with your
 support.
     National Security Division
     First, I want to discuss the important role that the new National
 Security Division (NSD) has played in the six months since it was
 established. NSD's goal is to synchronize the Department's counterterrorism
 and counterespionage prosecutions and its intelligence and criminal
 national security programs, including its intelligence-related searches and
 surveillance. When we first created NSD, I directed the new Assistant
 Attorney General for National Security, Ken Wainstein, to build upon the
 oversight capacity within the Division to ensure that the Department's
 national security investigations are conducted efficiently and in an
 appropriate manner, with due regard for the civil rights and liberties of
 all Americans. The Department's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review,
 now a part of the NSD, has long played an important oversight role. As I
 will discuss shortly, we are enhancing that oversight capacity this month,
 as the Department begins a new effort to closely examine the use of
 National Security Letters and other national security authorities by the
 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
     I also want to note that the agents at the FBI, working closely with
 our prosecutors in the National Security Division and in United States
 Attorney's Offices across the Nation, have been working tirelessly to
 pursue terrorists and their supporters and to bring them to justice. In
 just the past few months, we have announced noteworthy arrests and
 prosecutions such as those of Hassan Abujihaad, a former United States Navy
 seaman accused of providing information on United States naval battle group
 movements to terrorist supporters, and Daniel Maldonado, accused of
 fighting alongside extremist Islamic fighters in Somalia. We also have
 announced guilty pleas from individuals such as Tarik Shah, a former
 marital arts instructor from the Bronx who pleaded guilty to conspiring to
 support al Qaeda. Further, following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs
 Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Commerce investigation, corporations
 such as Chiquita Brands, which made sizeable illegal payments to a
 terrorist organization, have learned that they are not immune from criminal
 prosecution. In addition, we have made significant strides in protecting
 classified information and preventing sensitive technology from being sent
 overseas. For example, following a joint ICE and Defense Criminal
 Investigative Service investigation, ITT Corporation recently pleaded
 guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and agreed to pay a $100
 million in criminal fines and other penalties.
     In order to continue to move forward on these efforts in FY 2008, we
 are requesting $6.6 million to fund critical NSD enhancements, including
 additional funding for crisis management preparation and policy
 development, and legal analysis and coordination. In addition, the FY 2008
 budget includes resources to expand the FBI's national security
 initiatives, including $217 million to advance the FBI's counterterrorism
 and intelligence collection and analysis programs and to upgrade its
 information sharing tools that improve homeland security cohesion and
 efficiency. The FY 2008 budget provides approximately $12 million for the
 Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of National Security Intelligence
 (ONSI). ONSI was designated in February 2006 as a member of the
 Intelligence Community, in recognition of the contributions that the DEA
 makes to national and homeland security. ONSI facilitates full and
 appropriate intelligence coordination and information sharing with other
 members of the Intelligence Community and with homeland security elements
 to enhance our Nation's efforts to reduce the supply of drugs, protect our
 national security, and combat global terrorism.
     In addition to continuing to fund these important efforts, I believe it
 is also important that we continue to work together to modernize our
 national security laws. In particular, it is crucial that we work to update
 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Sweeping and
 unanticipated advances in telecommunications technology since 1978 have
 upset the delicate balance that the Congress originally struck when it
 enacted FISA. As a result, FISA now imposes a regime of court approval on a
 wide range intelligence activities that do not substantially implicate the
 privacy interests of Americans. This unintended expansion of FISA's scope
 has hampered our intelligence capabilities, and has resulted in the
 diversion of scarce Judicial and Executive Branch resources that could be
 better spent safeguarding the liberties of U.S. persons. I look forward to
 working with the Congress to modernize FISA to confront the very different
 technologies and threats of the 21st Century.
     National Security Letters
     I also want to take some time today to let you know that we are
 addressing an issue of great concern to me. About a year ago, the Congress
 reaffirmed the importance of critical law enforcement and intelligence
 tools -- such as National Security Letters (NSLs) -- when it passed the USA
 PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act. While NSLs have enhanced
 America's ability to detect and avert terrorist attacks, there have been
 instances in which their use has been unacceptable. I appreciate the
 Inspector General's important work identifying these shortcomings. Failure
 to properly use a critical authority such as NSLs can threaten to undermine
 the civil liberties of American citizens and erode public support for these
 vital antiterrorism measures. I want to assure you and the American people
 that I am dedicated to remedying these deficiencies and again pledge my
 commitment to protecting Americans from terrorist attacks while protecting
 the liberties that define us.
     At my direction, and with the support of the FBI Director, the
 Department of Justice, including the FBI, has moved aggressively to address
 the issues raised by the Inspector General's report. Let me briefly
 highlight some of the steps that the Department is taking in this regard.
 First, I have ordered NSD and the Department's Chief Privacy and Civil
 Liberties Officer to work closely with the FBI to take corrective actions,
 including implementing all of the recommendations made by the Inspector
 General, and to report directly to me on a regular basis and advise me
 whether any additional actions or efforts need to be taken. I also have
 asked the Inspector General to report back to me in June on the FBI's
 implementation of his recommendations.
     Second, the FBI Director recently ordered a one-time, retrospective
 audit of the use of NSLs. While the Inspector General's audit covered a
 sample of four FBI field offices, the FBI-led effort will examine the use
 of NSLs in all 56 field offices nationwide. We expect results to be
 forthcoming soon and will brief the Congress on our findings. To follow up
 on this one-time audit, at my direction, NSD will begin regular NSL audits
 this month, working in conjunction with the Department's Privacy Office and
 the FBI. We expect these reviews to be conducted in 15 field offices and
 FBI headquarters components over the next year. These regular audits
 represent a substantial new level and type of oversight of national
 security investigations by career Justice Department lawyers with years of
 intelligence and law enforcement experience. As I noted earlier, when NSD
 was formed, I ordered the creation of an enhanced oversight capability
 within the division to evaluate FBI national security investigations and to
 ensure their compliance with applicable legal requirements and guidelines.
 The audits beginning this month are one component of this new focus of the
 division.
     The FBI also issued a Bureau-wide directive prohibiting the use of the
 type of "exigent letters" described in the Inspector General's report. The
 FBI Director has also ordered the FBI Inspection Division to conduct an
 expedited review of the Headquarters unit that issued these letters, in
 order to assess management responsibility for this problem.
     The FBI is also working to improve the accuracy of the reporting of NSL
 statistics to the Congress. The FBI began developing a new NSL tracking
 database last year and plans to deploy the system this year. Until this new
 system is fully deployed, FBI field offices will conduct hand counts of
 NSLs. The FBI also has sampled a much larger number of entries than the
 Inspector General examined in order to attempt to better quantify the error
 rate of prior numbers reported to the Congress. Once this process is
 complete, the FBI will work with the Department and the Inspector General
 to determine the best course of action.
     These steps, among many others that the Department is taking in
 response to the Inspector General's report, embody a recognition of the
 fact that while the authorities that the Congress has provided are critical
 to fighting the War on Terror, we must constantly work to ensure that we
 protect the precious liberties and rights that are vital to our way of
 life. This report tells me very clearly that we must do better, and I am
 personally committed to this effort.
     We all recognize that we cannot afford to make progress in the War on
 Terror at the cost of eroding our bedrock civil liberties. Our Nation is,
 and always will be, dedicated to liberty for all, a value that we cannot
 and will not sacrifice, even in the name of winning this war. I will not
 accept failures in this regard. I look forward to working closely with the
 members of this Committee to address these important issues.
     Protection of Children
     As you know, protecting children against sexual predators is a key
 priority of my tenure. I am proud of the Department's efforts to combat
 these terrible crimes against children, and I appreciate the work of this
 Committee in safeguarding our children's innocence, including its support
 for the Adam Walsh Act, which included statutory authorization for the
 Department's Project Safe Childhood. The Department has moved forward
 aggressively to implement key reforms of the Adam Walsh Act.
     The Adam Walsh Act
     The Adam Walsh Act adopted a comprehensive new set of national
 standards for sex offender registration and notification and directed the
 Department to issue guidelines and regulations to interpret and implement
 these requirements. As an initial matter, I issued an interim regulation on
 February 28, 2007, clarifying that the strengthened Adam Walsh Act
 registration requirements apply to all sex offenders, including those
 convicted prior to the enactment of the Act. The Adam Walsh Act created the
 Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering,
 and Tracking ("SMART Office") in the Department's Office of Justice
 Programs, to administer these requirements. Last winter President Bush
 appointed Laura L. Rogers, a career prosecutor from California, to head the
 SMART Office. She is developing detailed guidelines to assist the States,
 territories, and Indian tribes in incorporating the Adam Walsh Act
 standards in their sex offender registration and notification programs.
 Extensive input has been obtained from interested government officials and
 others for this purpose, and publication of the guidelines for public
 comment will be forthcoming in the next few months.
     In addition to strengthening the substantive standards for sex offender
 registration and notification, the Adam Walsh Act provides for increased
 Federal assistance to States and other jurisdictions in enforcing
 registration requirements and protecting the public from sex offenders. The
 Act directs the Department to use the resources of Federal law enforcement,
 including the United States Marshals Service, to assist jurisdictions in
 locating and apprehending sex offenders who fail to register as required.
 As an initial step in this initiative, the Marshals Service, working with
 its State and local law enforcement partners, apprehended 1,659 sex
 offenders as part of the FALCON III fugitive roundup in October. The
 Marshals Service has developed plans to strengthen its national
 coordination and leadership function in sex offender apprehension under the
 Adam Walsh Act. The President's budget request for FY 2008 includes
 substantial funding for this purpose, proposing $7.8 million for the
 Marshals Service's aggressive pursuit of sexual predators under the Adam
 Walsh Act's provisions.
     The Adam Walsh Act also created an enhanced direct avenue for Federal
 enforcement of sex offender registration requirements. Under new section
 2250 of title 18, sex offenders who knowingly violate the Adam Walsh Act
 registration requirements under circumstances supporting Federal
 jurisdiction, such as failure to register following relocation from one
 State to another, can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. The Department's
 Criminal Division and the United States Attorneys' Offices have developed
 policy and guidance for prosecutions under the new Federal failure to
 register offense and are moving forward aggressively in bringing Federal
 prosecutions in appropriate cases. Since Section 2250 was enacted, Marshals
 Service investigations have resulted in the issuance of 84 arrest warrants
 for fugitives in violation of the law. Marshals and other law enforcement
 officials have been able to arrest 66 of those fugitives.
     Beyond the measures I have described relating to sex offender tracking,
 notification, investigation, apprehension, and prosecution, the Adam Walsh
 Act enacted important reforms affecting the correctional treatment of sex
 offenders. For example, the Act adopted new provisions for civil commitment
 of persons found to be sexually dangerous and subject to Federal
 jurisdiction. This means that court-ordered civil commitment can now be
 sought for a sex offender in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, where it
 can be shown that his condition would make it seriously difficult for him
 to refrain from further acts of molestation if released. Pursuant to the
 Adam Walsh Act commitment provisions, the Bureau of Prisons has 30 inmates
 certified as sexually dangerous persons (not limited to those incarcerated
 for sex offenses) and the responsible United States Attorneys' Offices are
 now engaged in litigation to secure the judicial commitment of these
 individuals as authorized by the Adam Walsh Act. The Bureau of Prisons is
 institutionalizing the screening and certification of inmates who satisfy
 the statutory criteria as sexually dangerous persons, and civil commitment
 of such persons for the protection of the public and for their care and
 treatment will be sought in all appropriate cases.
     The Adam Walsh Act further authorizes the expansion of the Bureau of
 Prisons' sex offender management and treatment efforts. The President's
 budget request for FY 2008 includes $5 million for the Bureau of Prisons to
 add treatment programs at six locations. This supports the Bureau of
 Prisons' objective to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive sex
 offender management program across all prison security levels. This program
 will address the security issues raised by a growing sex offender inmate
 population, and the need to reduce recidivism among such offenders
 following their release.
     Project Safe Childhood
     The Internet is one of the greatest technological advances of our time,
 but it also makes it alarmingly easy for sexual predators to find and
 contact children, as well as trade, collect, and even produce images of
 child sexual exploitation.
     The problem is great, but we have stepped up to the challenge. Through
 Project Safe Childhood (PSC), which is the backbone of the Department's
 efforts to combat child exploitation, we have begun to marshal our
 collective resources and raise online exploitation and abuse of children as
 a matter of public concern. We have sought to do this both through enhanced
 coordination of our law enforcement efforts, especially with the Internet
 Crimes Against Children task forces and our other State and local partners,
 and through cooperation with our non-governmental partners like the
 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to do effective
 outreach to parents and children about how to stay safe online.
     Since I testified last, the Department has undertaken two important
 steps to reduce the incidence of child sexual exploitation and abuse
 facilitated by the Internet, and these steps have begun to show results for
 our enhanced law enforcement efforts.
     The U.S. Department of Justice together with NCMEC and the Ad Council
 announced a new phase of their Online Sexual Exploitation public service
 advertising campaign, "Think Before You Post," designed to educate teenage
 girls about the potential dangers of posting and sharing personal
 information online.
     Popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Sconex
 make it easier for children and teens to post and share personal
 information, pictures, and videos, which may make them more vulnerable to
 online predators. Girls are particularly at risk of online sexual
 exploitation-a recent study by University of New Hampshire researchers for
 NCMEC found that, of the approximately one in seven youths who received a
 sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet, 70 percent were girls.
     The Think Before You Post campaign sends a strong reminder to children
 and their parents to be cautious when posting personal information online
 because, "[a]nything you post, anyone can see: family, friends, and even
 not-so- friendly people." The public service announcements were distributed
 to media outlets throughout the country, and can also be viewed at the
 Department's website www.usdoj.gov.
     Coordination of our law enforcement efforts through our 93 U.S.
 Attorneys will also be advanced by the recent launch of the PSC Team
 Training program, involving teams from five judicial districts, which I
 kicked off at NCMEC's headquarters in February. The training program will
 create a platform from which Federal, State, and local law enforcement
 agencies and non-governmental organizations can effectively work together
 across State and even national borders. The next training session will be
 held in Miami in May, bringing together teams from five additional
 districts. We hope to reach every district by the end of 2008 through a
 series of regional training sessions.
     The Department's enhanced law enforcement efforts have begun to show
 results. In the first quarter of the fiscal year, the Internet Crimes
 Against Children task forces increased the number of arrests for online
 child exploitation and abuse to 527, an increase of 22 percent over the
 same period in FY 2006. Likewise, the U.S. Attorneys have increased the
 number of cases filed. In the first five months of FY 2007, 761 cases have
 been filed. If this pace continues, it will result in as many as 1,826
 cases for the fiscal year, a 13 percent increase over FY 2006. Moreover, we
 are working on the investigative side to support continuing progress in
 this area. In the first quarter of FY 2007, the FBI opened 555
 investigations of online child exploitation cases, both child pornography
 and cyber-enticement, as compared to 438 investigations opened in the first
 quarter for FY 2006. Through these investigations and prosecutions our goal
 is to stop those who prey on our children, and also to deliver a general
 message of deterrence: when you target kids, we will target you.
     We have the power to change the battlefield, and the victory of safe
 childhoods will be our legacy. I look forward to continued work with this
 Committee on this issue that I care deeply about.
     Violent Crime
     Due in large part to the hard work of law enforcement, the Nation's
 crime rates remain near historic lows. The Administration has funded
 numerous initiatives to give Federal, State, and local prosecutors and law
 enforcement the tools needed to reduce violent crime, particularly gang-
 and firearm- related crime. Federal prosecutors continue to focus resources
 on the most serious violent offenders, taking them off the streets and
 putting them behind bars where they cannot re-offend.
     Initiative for Safer Communities
     Where localized increases in crime are being experienced, the
 Department is responding appropriately, working with our State and local
 partners to identify the problem and develop meaningful strategies to
 reduce and deter that crime. To that end, Department officials met with
 local law enforcement and community leaders from 18 jurisdictions across
 the country to investigate the factors contributing to the increase or
 decrease in violent crime in those jurisdictions. No one cause was reported
 as causing local spikes in crime; the problems varied by city and region.
     To address these regional and localized crime challenges, the
 President's FY 2008 budget requests $200 million for the Violent Crime
 Partnership Initiative. The initiative will assist in responding to high
 rates of violent crime, including gang, drug, and gun violence, by forming
 and developing effective multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partnerships
 between Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Through
 these multi- jurisdictional partnerships, we will disrupt criminal gang,
 firearm, and drug activities, particularly those with a
 multi-jurisdictional dimension.
     Project Safe Neighborhoods
     The Initiative for Safer Communities is a supplement to the existing
 Department-led programs aimed at reducing violent crime, such as the
 Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. PSN programs, led by the
 United States Attorney in each Federal judicial district, link Federal,
 State, and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community
 leaders to implement a multi-faceted strategy to deter and punish gun
 criminals. In the past six years, as a result of PSN, the number of Federal
 firearms prosecutions is more
     than double the number of prosecutions brought during the six years
 prior to PSN's implementation.
     With the support of the Congress, the Department has dedicated more
 than $1.5 billion to this important program. Those funds have provided
 necessary training, hired agents and prosecutors, and supported State and
 local partners working to combat gun crime. For 2008, the President's
 budget requests more than $400 million for PSN, including a $2.2 million
 enhancement to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to
 support increased anti-gang and firearms enforcement efforts, as well as a
 $6.3 million enhancement to establish firearms trafficking teams devoted to
 pursuing trafficking investigations along the Southwest Border and in areas
 of the country identified as concentrated firearms trafficking corridors.
     Gangs
     The Department is also applying the PSN model of collaboration to
 address the danger that violent gangs pose to our neighborhoods. The
 Department has developed a comprehensive strategy to combat gang violence
 that involves the coordination of enforcement and prevention resources to
 target the gangs who terrorize our communities. The Department's Anti-Gang
 Coordination Committee continues to organize the Department's wide-ranging
 efforts to combat the scourge of gangs, and the Anti-Gang Coordinators in
 each United States Attorney's Office continue to provide leadership and
 focus to our anti-gang efforts at the district level.
     Last year, the Department expanded the successful Project Safe
 Neighborhoods initiative to include new and enhanced anti-gang efforts, and
 launched the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, which focuses anti-gang
 resources on prevention, enforcement, and offender reentry efforts in six
 sites throughout the country: Los Angeles, Tampa, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft.
 Worth, Milwaukee, and the "222 Corridor," which stretches from Easton to
 Lancaster in Pennsylvania.
     The Department also created a new national Gang Targeting, Enforcement,
 and Coordination Center (GangTECC) this past year. GangTECC brings together
 all of the operational components of the Department, as well as other
 agencies within the Federal government to coordinate overlapping
 investigations and ensure that tactical and strategic intelligence is
 shared among law enforcement agencies. GangTECC works hand-in-hand with the
 new National Gang Intelligence Center, and the Criminal Division's Gang
 Squad. The President's FY 2008 budget requests resources to further support
 these anti-gang efforts.
     While we have made significant enhancements to our anti-gang efforts at
 the national level, the Department understands that the lion's share of the
 work happens at the local and district level. On the prevention side, in
 accordance with my directive, each U.S. Attorney has convened a Gang
 Prevention Summit in his or her district to explore additional
 opportunities in the area of gang prevention. And on the enforcement side,
 to support the increased focus on anti-gang prosecutions at the Federal
 level, the President's FY 2008 budget requests an enhancement of $4.1
 million for additional anti-gang Federal prosecutors.
     Finally, as you know, the Department has worked closely with this
 Committee as well as the House Judiciary Committee to develop legislation
 to enhance the tools available to Federal law enforcement in its ongoing
 efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs.
     Drug Enforcement
     The Department continues to devote substantial investigative and
 prosecutorial resources to addressing the problem of drug trafficking. In
 FY 2006, drug cases represented more than 25 percent of all cases filed by
 our U.S. Attorneys and 35 percent of Federal defendants.
     The vast majority of illegal drugs sold in the United States are
 supplied by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). The Department continues
 to believe that utilizing intelligence to target the highest priority DTOs
 and those entities and individuals linked to the DTOs, using the Drug
 Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Organized Crime and Drug
 Enforcement Task Force program, is the most effective approach to fighting
 the global drug trade and its attendant threats. It is within this
 strategic framework that the Department generally organizes its efforts to
 reduce the supply of illegal drugs. These efforts combine the expertise of
 multiple Federal agencies with international, State, and local partners, to
 mount a comprehensive attack on major drug organizations and the financial
 infrastructures that support them. This approach has been successful. Just
 this past fall, the most significant drug traffickers ever to face justice
 in the United States -- Miguel and Alberto Rodriguez-Orejuela -- pleaded
 guilty in a Federal court in Miami to a charge of conspiracy to import
 cocaine into the United States.
     The Department recognizes that the Southwest Border remains a critical
 front in our Nation's defense against both illegal drug trafficking and
 terrorism. Because a significant amount of drugs that enters the U.S. is
 trafficked by DTOs based in Mexico, the Department has been working closely
 with the Government of Mexico, including in joint cooperative efforts by
 law enforcement. In addition, the Department is continuing discussions with
 the Government of Mexico regarding extraditions of major drug traffickers.
     In addition to its continued efforts on drug trafficking organizations,
 over the past several years the Department has placed a special emphasis on
 reducing the demand for, and supply of, methamphetamine and controlled
 substance prescription drugs.
     In support of the Administration's plan to combat methamphetamine, the
 Department established the Anti-Methamphetamine Coordination Committee to
 oversee the ongoing implementation of initiatives and to ensure the most
 effective coordination of its anti-methamphetamine efforts. The Department
 is enhancing the anti-methamphetamine trafficking and intelligence
 capabilities of law enforcement; assisting tribal, State, and local
 authorities with training, cleanup, and enforcement initiatives; and
 providing grants to State drug court programs that assist methamphetamine
 abusers. On the international front, the Department is working to cut off
 the illicit supply of precursor chemicals by working with our international
 partners.
     The United States Government has established a strong partnership with
 Mexico to combat methamphetamine. In May 2005, the Attorney General of
 Mexico and I announced several anti-methamphetamine initiatives designed to
 address improved enforcement, increased law enforcement training, improved
 information sharing, and increased public awareness. Most of those
 initiatives are now underway and our goals are being met.
     This past year, the Congress enacted important legislation, the Combat
 Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, which regulates the sale of the legal
 ingredients used to make methamphetamine; strengthens criminal penalties;
 authorizes resources for State and local governments; enhances
 international enforcement of methamphetamine trafficking; and enhances the
 regulation of methamphetamine by-products, among other things. The
 Department is committed to enforcing rigorously these new provisions of the
 law in order to address the domestic production of methamphetamine. As
 State laws regulating methamphetamine precursors went into effect, along
 with the new Federal law, we have seen a decline in domestic
 methamphetamine labs.
     The Department remains concerned about the non-medical use of
 controlled substance prescription drugs, which continues to be the fastest
 rising category of drug abuse in recent years. At the same time, the
 Department recognizes that it is critical that individuals who are
 prescribed controlled substance prescription drugs for a legitimate medical
 purpose have access to these important drugs. Rogue pharmacies operating
 illicitly through Internet increasingly have become a source for the
 illegal supply of controlled substances. This issue is a priority for the
 Department, and we are aggressively applying the full range of enforcement
 tools available to us to address this increasing problem. The Department
 looks forward to working with the Congress on additional enforcement tools
 that may be appropriate.
     Civil Rights
     I am pleased to report that the past year has been full of outstanding
 accomplishments in the Civil Rights Division, where we obtained record
 levels of enforcement. This year, the Division celebrates its 50th
 Anniversary. Since its inception in 1957, the Division has achieved a great
 deal, and we have much to be proud. Following are some of the Division's
 more notable recent accomplishments, beginning with two recent initiatives
 and the creation of a new unit within the Criminal Section.
     New Initiatives
     --  On February 20, 2007, I announced The First Freedom Project and
         released a Report on Enforcement of Laws Protecting Religious Freedom
         to highlight and build upon the Division's role in enforcing the
         longstanding Federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on
         religion. This initiative is particularly important to combat
         religious and cultural intolerance in the aftermath of the terrorist
         attacks of September 11, 2001.
     --  In January 2007, I announced the Federal indictment charging James
         Seale for his role in the abduction and murders of two African-
         American teenagers, Henry Dee and Charles Moore, in Mississippi in
         1964. This case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division and
         the local U.S. Attorney's Office. Shortly thereafter, I announced an
         FBI initiative to identify other unresolved civil rights era murders
         for possible prosecution to the extent permitted by the available
         evidence and the limits of Federal law - an effort in which the Civil
         Rights Division will play a key role.
     --  On January 31, 2007, I announced the creation of the new Human
         Trafficking Prosecution Unit within the Criminal Section of the Civil
         Rights Division. This new Unit is staffed by the Section's most
         seasoned human trafficking prosecutors, who will work with our
         partners in Federal and State law enforcement and non-government
         organizations to investigate and prosecute the most significant human
         trafficking crimes, such as multi-jurisdictional sex trafficking
         cases.
     Enforcement
     In addition to these recent advances, the Division has done much to
 further the enforcement of our Federal civil rights laws. In the past year:
     --  the Criminal Section set new records in several areas by charging and
         convicting a record number of defendants - obtaining an overall
         conviction rate of 98 percent, the highest such figure in the history
         of the Criminal Section;
     --  the Criminal Section obtained a record number of convictions in the
         prosecution of human trafficking crimes, deplorable offenses of fear,
         force, and violence that disproportionately affect women and minority
         immigrants;
     --  the Employment Litigation Section filed as many lawsuits challenging a
         pattern or practice of discrimination as during the last three years
         of the previous Administration combined;
     --  the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section filed more cases alleging
         discrimination based on sex than in any year in its history;
     --  the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section conducted significantly more
         tests to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act, pursuant to
         Operation Home Sweet Home, and we are working to achieve an all-time
         high number of such tests this year; and
     --  the Disability Rights Section obtained the highest success rate to
         date in mediating complaints brought under the Americans with
         Disabilities Act -- 82 percent.
     Just a few weeks ago, the Civil Rights Division secured the second
 largest damage award ever obtained by the Justice Department in a Fair
 Housing Act case against a former landlord in the Dayton, Ohio, area for
 discriminating against African Americans and families with children.
     In the past six years, we have ensured the integrity of law enforcement
 by more than tripling the number of agreements reached with police
 departments and convicting 50 percent more law enforcement officials for
 willful misconduct, such as the use of excessive force, as compared to the
 previous six years.
     In the past six years, the Disability Rights Section reached more than
 80 percent of the agreements obtained with State and local governments
 under Project Civic Access, a program that has made cities across the
 country more accessible and made lives better for more than 3 million
 Americans with disabilities.
     Protecting Voting Rights
     Last year, the President and I strongly supported the Voting Rights Act
 Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, appropriately named for three
 heroines of the Civil Rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and
 Coretta Scott King. This legislation renewed for another 25 years certain
 provisions of the Act that had been set to expire, including Section 5,
 under which all voting changes in certain jurisdictions must be
 "precleared" prior to implementation, sections relating to Federal
 observers and examiners, and Sections 4 and 203, relating to bilingual
 requirements.
     The Voting Rights Act has proven to be one of the most successful
 pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted. However, as long as all
 citizens do not have equal access to the polls, our work is not finished.
 As President Bush said, "In four decades since the Voting Rights Act was
 first passed, we've made progress toward equality, yet the work for a more
 perfect union is never ending."
     At the White House signing ceremony for the 2006 reauthorization Act,
 President Bush said, "My administration will vigorously enforce the
 provisions of this law, and we will defend it in court." The Department of
 Justice is committed to carrying out the President's promise. In fact, the
 Civil Rights Division is currently vigorously defending the Act against a
 constitutional challenge in Federal court here in the District of Columbia.
     A major component of the Division's work to protect voting rights is
 its election monitoring program. Our election monitoring efforts are among
 the most effective means of ensuring that Federal voting rights are
 respected on election day.
     In 2006, we sent more than 1,500 Federal personnel to monitor
 elections, doubling the number sent in 2000, a presidential election year.
 During the general election on November 7, 2006, the Division deployed a
 record number of monitors and observers to jurisdictions across the country
 for a mid-term election. In total, more than 800 Federal personnel
 monitored the polls in 69 political subdivisions in 22 States.
     In addition to our presence at the polls, Department personnel here in
 Washington stood ready with numerous phone lines to handle calls from
 citizens with election complaints, as well as to monitor an Internet-based
 mechanism for reporting problems.
     We had personnel at the call center who were fluent in Spanish and had
 the Division's language interpretation service to provide translators in
 other languages. The Department received more than 200 complaints through
 its phone and Internet-based system on election day. Many of these
 complaints were resolved on election day, and we are continuing to follow
 up on the rest.
     Our commitment to protecting the right to vote is further demonstrated
 by our recent enforcement efforts. In 2006, the Voting Section filed 18 new
 lawsuits, which is more than twice the average number of lawsuits filed
 annually in the preceding 30 years. Moreover, during 2006, the Division
 filed the largest number of cases under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens
 Absentee Voting Act, which ensures that overseas citizens and members of
 the military are able to participate in Federal elections. Finally, in
 2006, the Voting Section processed the largest number of Section 5
 submissions in its history, made two objections to submissions pursuant to
 Section 5, and filed its first Section 5 enforcement action since 1998.
     Last year, we furthered our record of accomplishment during this
 Administration. During the past six years, the Civil Rights Division has
 litigated more cases on behalf of minority language voters than in all
 other years combined since 1975. Specifically, we have successfully
 litigated approximately 60 percent of all language minority cases in the
 history of the Voting Rights Act. Moreover, during the past six years, we
 have brought seven of the nine cases ever filed under Section 208 in the
 history of the Act, including the first case ever under the Voting Rights
 Act to protect the rights of Haitian Americans.
     The work of the Civil Rights Division in recent years reflects the need
 for continued vigilance in the prosecution and enforcement of our Nation's
 civil rights laws. I am committed to building upon our accomplishments and
 continuing to create a record that reflects the profound significance of
 this right for all Americans.
     In addition to its responsibility to protect access to the ballot box,
 the Department is responsible for combating Federal election crimes, such
 as election fraud and campaign financing offenses. In 2002, the Department
 launched the Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative, and the
 investigation and prosecution of these crimes is a priority. With the
 assistance of the FBI, we have investigated over 300 election crime matters
 since the start of the Initiative, charged more than 180 individuals with
 election fraud or campaign financing offenses, and obtained over 130
 convictions. At the present time, over 140 election crime investigations
 are pending throughout the country.
     Every election crime prosecution and voting rights settlement puts
 would- be wrong-doers on notice: We will not tolerate attempts to corrupt
 the electoral process or the infringement of voting rights, period.
     Border Security
     Immigration offenses are the largest category of cases the Department
 files each year. Nearly one third of the 60,000 new cases filed each year
 are for immigration offenses.
     Nevertheless, because immigration enforcement is such a high priority
 for the Department, I am committed to doing more. In the latter half of
 2006, the Department sent 30 additional prosecutors to the southwest border
 districts to help them handle a greater number of immigration cases, as
 well as border narcotics cases. Since 2000, the overall number of Assistant
 U.S. Attorneys working in the southwest border districts has increased by
 about 29 percent. Increasing the number of prosecutors permits these
 districts to take in more cases of all types. Despite these increases, our
 prosecutors on the border still handle some of the largest caseloads in the
 Nation. To further augment our resources, the President has proposed in his
 2008 budget $7.4 million for a Border and Immigration Prosecution
 Initiative to hire 55 additional prosecutors to handle more immigration
 cases. In addition, the budget requests $7.5 million to hire 40 Deputy U.S.
 Marshals to manage the increased workload as a result of increased
 immigration enforcement along the Southwest Border. This funding is needed
 so that we can continue to increase prosecutions and convictions to further
 deter illegal border crossings and achieve control over the border.
     In addition to enhancing enforcement resources, I am eager to work with
 this Committee on creating workable comprehensive immigration reform
 legislation. Such reform, as described by the President, would relieve
 pressure on our borders by creating a temporary worker program to fill jobs
 that Americans do not want, would enhance tools for employers to verify
 that they are hiring only citizens and authorized foreigners, and would
 increase penalties for the employment of unauthorized workers and for other
 immigration offenses. I look forward to working with the Committee on
 comprehensive immigration reform in the coming weeks and months.
     Intellectual Property Enforcement
     Intellectual property ("IP") is a core component of U.S. economic
 health. IP theft undermines U.S. economic security and stifles the creative
 output central to U.S. economic vitality. The Department has made combating
 IP theft a priority.
     The Department of Justice is dedicating more resources than ever before
 to the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights, with a special
 emphasis on prosecuting health and safety cases. Last June, the
 Department's Task Force on Intellectual Property announced that it had
 implemented all 31 of its recommendations to improve IP protection and
 enforcement in the United States and abroad, as described in detail in the
 Progress Report of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual
 Property (June 2006). In the past two years, we have significantly expanded
 the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) network of Federal
 prosecutors dedicated to the prosecution of high-tech and IP crime. The
 total number of CHIP prosecutors has increased to 230 (with at least one in
 each U.S. Attorney's Office), and the number of specialized CHIP Units has
 nearly doubled to 25 cities nationwide.
     The Task Force's unprecedented efforts to improve criminal IP
 enforcement have yielded, among other successes, substantial increases in
 Federal investigations and prosecutions of IP violations. For instance, the
 number of defendants prosecuted for IP offenses rose 98 percent from 2004
 to 2005, and the number convicted of IP offenses increased more than 50
 percent from 2005 to 2006 (from 124 to 187). Of those convicted, the number
 receiving substantial sentences (25 months or more) increased even more
 sharply - from 17 to 39, an increase of 130 percent. Last year also saw
 substantial increases in the FBI's tally of the number of defendants
 arrested (from 104 to 144, up 40 percent) and charged (from 145 to 191, up
 30 percent) in criminal IP cases.
     In February 2007, the Department obtained one of the first-ever
 extraditions for an intellectual property offense, bringing the leader of
 one of the oldest and most notorious Internet software piracy groups to the
 United States from Australia to face criminal copyright charges. The group
 is estimated to have caused the illegal distribution of more than $50
 million worth of pirated software, movies, and music.
     Recognizing that the effective protection of IP rights depends on
 strong international as well as domestic criminal enforcement regimes, the
 Department has placed special emphasis on improving its international
 outreach and capacity-building efforts. For instance, in 2006, the
 Department established the first-ever IP Law Enforcement Coordinator for
 Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. This IPLEC position is dedicated to advancing
 the Department's regional IP goals through training, outreach, and the
 coordination of investigations and operations against IP crime throughout
 the region. A second IPLEC for Eastern Europe has been established, and we
 will be sending a prosecutor to Sofia, Bulgaria, to fill that position this
 summer. Moreover, in 2006 alone, Criminal Division prosecutors provided
 training and technical assistance on IP enforcement to more than 3,300
 foreign prosecutors, investigators, and judges from 107 countries.
     State, Local, and Tribal Assistance
     In addition to our own law enforcement efforts, the Department supports
 State, local, and tribal law enforcement. The Department's FY 2008 budget
 contains more than $1.2 billion in discretionary grant assistance to State,
 local, and tribal governments, and non-profit organizations, including
 funding for the creation of four new competitive grant programs: the
 Violent Crime Reduction Partnership; the Byrne Public Safety and Protection
 Program; the Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program; and Violence
 Against Women Grants.
     Violent Crime Reduction Partnership
     The President's FY 2008 budget requests $200 million for the Violent
 Crime Reduction Partnership Initiative, which is one of the ways we are
 responding to the recent increase in violent crime. The funding will be
 used to help communities address high rates of violent crime by forming and
 developing effective multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partnerships
 between local, State, tribal, and Federal law enforcement agencies. Through
 these multi- jurisdictional partnerships, we will disrupt criminal gang,
 firearm, and drug activities, particularly those with a
 multi-jurisdictional dimension. Additionally, the Department will target
 this funding to respond to local crime surges it detects through its
 ongoing research.
     Byrne Public Safety and Protection Program
     In addition, the President's budget proposal includes $350 million for
 a simplified and streamlined grant program that would combine the funding
 streams of several programs into the new Byrne Public Safety and Protection
 Program. This initiative consolidates some of the Department's most
 successful State and local law enforcement assistance programs into a
 single, flexible, competitive discretionary grant program. This new
 approach will help State, local, and tribal governments develop programs
 appropriate to the particular needs of their jurisdictions. Through the
 competitive grant process, we will continue to assist communities in
 addressing a number of high-priority concerns, such as (1) reducing violent
 crime at the local levels through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative;
 (2) addressing the criminal justice issues surrounding substance abuse
 through drug courts, residential treatment for prison inmates, prescription
 drug monitoring programs, methamphetamine enforcement and lab cleanup, and
 cannabis eradication efforts; (3) promoting and enhancing law enforcement
 information sharing efforts through improved and more accurate criminal
 history records; (4) improving the capacity of State and local law
 enforcement and justice system personnel to make use of forensic evidence
 and reducing DNA evidence and analysis backlogs; (5) addressing domestic
 trafficking in persons; (6) improving and expanding prisoner re-entry
 initiatives; and (7) improving services to victims of crime to facilitate
 their participation in the legal process. In addition to State, local, and
 tribal governments, non-government entities will also be eligible for
 funding under this program.
     Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program
     To further our commitment to protecting our Nation's most vulnerable
 citizens, our budget includes $280 million for the new Child Safety and
 Juvenile Justice Program. The Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program
 initiative consolidates existing juvenile justice and exploited children
 programs, such as Internet Crimes Against Children, into a single, flexible
 grant program. Through a competitive discretionary grant process, the
 Department will assist State and local governments in addressing multiple
 child and juvenile justice needs, such as, reducing incidents of child
 exploitation and abuse, including those facilitated by the use of computers
 and the Internet, improving juvenile justice outcomes, and addressing
 school safety needs. One of the most notable parts of this program is the
 AMBER Alert project, a proven success that has helped rescue hundreds of
 children nationwide. With 50 statewide AMBER plans now in place, we are
 meeting President Bush's goal of a National AMBER Alert network. I am
 committed to ensuring that we have a strong and seamless network in place
 to protect our children.
     Violence Against Women Grants
     The FY 2008 budget includes $370 million for one new, flexible,
 competitive grant program that would consolidate all Violence Against Women
 Act programs, creating a new structure that can address the multiple needs
 of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and
 stalking. This grant program will help communities forge effective
 partnerships among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and
 between the criminal justice system and victim advocates, and provide
 much-needed services to victims. The funding will continue to enable
 communities to address a range of issues in responding to violence against
 women, including the unique barriers faced by rural communities; the
 importance of training police, prosecutors, and court personnel; the
 critical need of victims for legal assistance, transitional housing, and
 other comprehensive services; the special needs of elderly victims and
 those with disabilities; and the high rate of violence against women in
 Indian country.
     These four new grant programs will enable the Department to more
 effectively target Federal assistance to areas with the greatest need and
 allow for adjustments in funding priorities in response to changes and
 emerging trends in crime and justice issues.
     Responsiveness to Congressional Requests
     Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to discuss with you the
 Department's efforts to improve its responsiveness to the Congress,
 especially questions for the record. You will no doubt recall that
 responses to the Committee's questions for the record from my previous
 hearing more than six months earlier were transmitted to the Committee just
 hours before I testified before you in January. That performance was not
 acceptable to me, as I know it was not acceptable to the Committee.
     In 2005, Department witnesses testified at 94 congressional hearings.
 In 2006, that number rose to 111. So far this year, Department witnesses
 have testified at 30 congressional hearings, and we fully expect this brisk
 pace to continue in the coming months.
     Even as the number of hearings involving Department witnesses has
 increased, the number of questions for the record submitted to the
 Department following those hearings has increased at a more dramatic pace.
 In 2004, the Department provided responses to nearly 500 questions
 submitted for the record following congressional hearings. In 2005, the
 Department provided responses to approximately 1,200 such questions. Last
 year, the total was nearly 1,400.
     So far this year, the Department has already provided the Congress with
 responses to more than 1,200 questions for the record, with a large
 majority of those responses coming to this Committee. Several hundred
 additional responses have also already been submitted for interagency
 clearance prior to submission to the Congress. Most of the responses
 submitted this year are in response to questions received at hearings held
 in 2006, but a large number are from hearings held this year, including
 responses to a large majority of the 430 questions submitted to me
 following my appearance before the Committee hearing in January. So far
 this year, the Department has received nearly 1,000 new questions for the
 record, with roughly three-quarters of them submitted by this Committee.
     I appreciate the importance of oversight and the need for the
 Department to be responsive to the Congress. I believe the Department has
 taken steps to respond to questions for the record in a more timely manner,
 and I intend to see to it that we continue to do so.
     Conclusion
     Thank you for your dedication to all of the issues I have just
 outlined. I look forward to working with you in the coming months on these
 topics and the Department's other missions and priorities.
     (1) "What Congress Gets to Know," by Walter Dellinger and Christopher
 H. Schroeder, Slate, Monday, March 26, 2007.
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
    WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Good morning Chairman
 Leahy, Ranking Member Specter, and Members of the Committee.
     Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today to discuss some of
 the important work currently underway at the Department of Justice. I would
 like to share some of the Department's recent accomplishments and outline
 the priorities of the Department in the coming months. I also would like to
 address any concerns the Committee may have regarding the Department's
 varied responsibilities. I welcome the chance to enhance the dialogue
 between these two Branches of government.
     Resignations of U.S. Attorneys
     First, I will address the issue of the resignations of eight of 93 U.S.
 Attorneys. I know this is an issue of concern to the Committee, and I want
 you to know that I share your commitment to bringing all of the facts to
 light on this matter. I hope we can make great progress on that goal today.
     I also want the Committee and those U.S. Attorneys to know how much I
 appreciate their public service. Each is a fine lawyer and dedicated
 professional who gave many years of service to the Department. I apologize
 to them and to their families for allowing this matter to become an
 unfortunate and undignified public spectacle, and I am sorry for my
 missteps that have helped to fuel the controversy.
     The Justice Department has tried to be forthcoming with the Congress
 and the American people about the process that led to the resignations. The
 Department has provided thousands of pages of internal and deliberative
 documents to the Congress. I consistently and voluntarily have made Justice
 Department officials available for interviews and hearings on this subject.
     I have taken these important steps to provide information for two
 critical reasons: (1) I have nothing to hide, and (2) I am committed to
 assuring the Congress and the American public that nothing improper
 occurred here. The sooner that all the facts are known, the sooner we can
 all devote our exclusive attention to our important work -- work that
 includes protecting the American people from the dangers of terrorism,
 violent crime, illegal drugs, and sexual predators. I know that the
 Committee must be eager to focus on those issues of great importance to the
 American people as well.
     At this point, we can all agree that U.S. Attorneys serve at the
 pleasure of the President. We further should agree on a definition of what
 an "improper" reason for the removal of a U.S. Attorney would be. As former
 Acting Solicitor General and Assistant Attorney General Walter Dellinger
 has stated, an improper reason would be: "The replacement of one or more
 U.S. attorneys in order to impede or speed along particular criminal
 investigations for illegitimate reasons."(1)
     I agree with that. Stated differently, the Department of Justice makes
 decisions based on the evidence, not whether the target is a Republican or
 a Democrat.
     For the benefit of the Committee as well as for the American people, I
 would like to be abundantly clear about the decision to request the
 resignations of eight (of the 93) United States Attorneys - each of whom
 had served his or her full four-year term of office:
     I know that I did not, and would not, ask for a resignation of any
 individual in order to interfere with or influence a particular prosecution
 for partisan political gain.
     I also have no basis to believe that anyone involved in this process
 sought the removal of a U.S. Attorney for an improper reason.
     These facts have been made clear through the testimony of Justice
 Department officials who have appeared before the Congress, as well as by
 the thousands of pages of internal documents that the Department of Justice
 has released. Based upon the record as I know it, it is unfair and
 unfounded for anyone to conclude that any U.S. Attorney was removed for an
 improper reason. Our record in bringing aggressive prosecutions without
 fear or favor and irrespective of political affiliations -- a record I am
 very proud of -- is beyond reproach.
     While reasonable people may dispute whether or not the actual reasons
 for these decisions were sufficient to justify a particular resignation,
 again, there is no factual basis to support the allegation, as many have
 made, that these resignations were motivated by improper reasons. As this
 Committee knows, however, to provide more certainty, I have asked the
 Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to
 investigate this matter. Working with the Department's Office of Inspector
 General (OIG), these non-partisan professionals will complete their own
 independent investigation so that the Congress and the American people can
 be 100 percent assured of the facts.
     The Committee should also know that, to ensure the independence and
 integrity of these investigations, and the investigations of congressional
 committees, I have not spoken with nor reviewed the confidential
 transcripts of any of the Department of Justice employees interviewed by
 congressional staff. I state this because, as a result, I may be somewhat
 limited when it comes to providing you with all of the facts that you may
 desire. I hope you understand that, to me, it was absolutely essential that
 the investigative work proceeds in a manner free of any complications by my
 efforts to prepare for this testimony.
     While I firmly believe that these dismissals were appropriate, I have
 equal conviction that the process by which these U.S. Attorneys were asked
 to resign could have -- and should have -- been handled differently.
     I made mistakes in not ensuring that these U.S. Attorneys received more
 dignified treatment. Others within the Department of Justice also made
 mistakes. As far as I know, these were honest mistakes of perception and
 judgment and not intentional acts of misconduct. The American public needs
 to know of the good faith and dedication of those who serve them at the
 Department of Justice.
     As I have stated before, I want to be as crisp and clear as I can be
 with the Committee about the facts of my involvement in this matter as I
 recall them.
     The Coordination Process
     Shortly after the 2004 election and soon after I became Attorney
 General, my then-deputy-chief-of-staff Kyle Sampson told me that
 then-Counsel to the President Harriet Miers had inquired about replacing
 all 93 U.S. Attorneys. Mr. Sampson and I both agreed that replacing all 93
 U.S. Attorneys would be disruptive and unwise. However, I believed it would
 be appropriate and a good management decision to evaluate the U.S.
 Attorneys and determine the districts where a change may be beneficial to
 the Department.
     I delegated the task of coordinating a review to Mr. Sampson in early
 2005. Mr. Sampson is a good man and was a dedicated public servant. I
 believed that he was the right person (1) to collect insight and opinions,
 including his own, from Department officials with the most knowledge of
 U.S. Attorneys and (2) to provide, based on that collective judgment, a
 consensus recommendation of the Department's senior leadership on districts
 that could benefit from a change.
     I recall telling Mr. Sampson that I wanted him to consult with
 appropriate Justice Department senior officials who would have the most
 relevant knowledge and information about the performance of the U.S.
 Attorneys. It was to be a group of officials, including the Deputy Attorney
 General, who were much more knowledgeable than I about the performance of
 each U.S. Attorney. I also told him to make sure that the White House was
 kept informed since the U.S. Attorneys are presidential appointees.
     Mr. Sampson periodically updated me on the review. As I recall, his
 updates were brief, relatively few in number, and focused primarily on the
 review process itself. During those updates, to my knowledge, I did not
 make decisions about who should or should not be asked to resign.
     For instance, I recall two specific instances when Mr. Sampson
 mentioned to me that Harriet Miers had asked about the status of the
 Department's evaluation of U.S. Attorneys.
     I also recall Mr. Sampson mentioning Assistant Attorney General Rachel
 Brand as a possible candidate to be U.S. Attorney if a vacancy were to
 occur. I am not sure he mentioned a specific district, but it may have been
 Michigan. I do not recall my response, nor when it happened. But I do
 recall thinking I did not want to lose Ms. Brand as head of Legal Policy. I
 also recall Mr. Sampson mentioning career prosecutor Deborah Rhodes for San
 Diego in the event of a vacancy. I do not recall my response or any other
 discussion. Nor do I recall the timing of when this was raised with me.
 Although these names were mentioned to me, I do not recall making any
 decision, either on or before December 7, 2006, about who should replace
 the U.S. Attorneys who were asked to resign that day.
     Near the end of the process, as I have said many times, Kyle Sampson
 presented me with the final recommendations, which I approved. I did so
 because I understood that the recommendations represented the consensus of
 senior Justice Department officials most knowledgeable about the
 performance of all 93 U.S. Attorneys. I also remember that, at some point
 in time, Mr. Sampson explained to me the plan to inform the U.S. Attorneys
 of my decision.
     ***
     I believed the process that Mr. Sampson was coordinating would produce
 the best result by including those senior Justice Department officials with
 the most knowledge about this matter. As in other areas of the Department's
 work -- whether creating a plan to combat terrorism or targeting dangerous
 drugs like methamphetamine -- my goal was to improve the performance of the
 Justice Department. And as in other areas of the Department's work, I
 expected a process to be established that would lead to recommendations
 based on the collective judgment and opinions of those with the most
 knowledge within the Department.
     In hindsight, I would have handled this differently. As a manager, I am
 aware that decisions involving personnel are some of the most difficult and
 challenging decisions one can make. United States Attorneys serve at the
 pleasure of the President, but looking back, it is clear to me that I
 should have done more personally to ensure that the review process was more
 rigorous, and that each U.S. Attorney was informed of this decision in a
 more personal and respectful way.
     I also want to address suggestions that I intentionally made false
 statements about my involvement in this process. These suggestions have
 been personally very painful to me. I have always sought the truth. I never
 sought to mislead or deceive the Congress or the American people about my
 role in this matter. I do acknowledge however that at times I have been
 less than precise with my words when discussing the resignations.
     For example, I misspoke at a press conference on March 13th when I said
 that I "was not involved in any discussions about what was going on." That
 statement was too broad. At that same press conference, I made clear that I
 was aware of the process; I said that "I knew my chief of staff was
 involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers. Where
 were the districts around the country where we could do better for the
 people in that district, and that's what I knew." Of course, I knew about
 the process because of, at a minimum, these discussions with Mr. Sampson.
 Thus, my statement about "discussions" was imprecise and overbroad, but it
 certainly was not in anyway an attempt to mislead the American people.
     I certainly understand why these statements generated confusion, and I
 regret that. I have tried to clarify my words in later interviews with the
 media, and will be happy to answer any further questions the Committee may
 have today about those statements.
     It is said that actions speak louder than words. And my actions in this
 matter do indeed show that I have endeavored to be forthcoming with the
 Congress and the American people.
     I am dedicated to correcting both the management missteps and the
 ensuing public confusion that now surrounds what should have been a benign
 situation. For example:
     In recent weeks I have met personally with more than 70 U.S. Attorneys
 around the country to hear their concerns and discuss ways to improve
 communication and coordination between their offices and Main Justice.
     These discussions have been frank, and good ideas are coming out,
 including ways to improve communication between the Department and their
 offices so that every United States Attorney can know whether their
 performance is at the level expected by the Attorney General and the Deputy
 Attorney General. Additionally, I have asked the members of the Attorney
 General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys to present to me
 recommendations on formal and informal steps that we can take to improve
 communication.
     During these meetings I am also sharing with the U.S. Attorney
 community several key messages that I wish to also share with the
 Committee:
     First, the process of selecting U.S. Attorneys to be asked to resign,
 while not improper, should have been more rigorous and should have been
 completed in a much shorter period of time.
     Second, every U.S. Attorney who was asked to resign -- Dan Bogden,
 Margaret Chiara, Paul Charlton, David Iglesias, Carol Lam, John McKay,
 Kevin Ryan, and Bud Cummins -- served honorably, and they and their
 families made sacrifices in the name of public service. The Justice
 Department owes them more respect than they were shown. In some cases,
 Department leaders should have worked with them to make improvements where
 they were needed. In all cases, I should have communicated the concerns
 more effectively, and I should have informed them of my decisions in a more
 dignified manner. This process could have been handled much better and for
 that I want to apologize publicly.
     And third, I am also telling our 93 U.S. Attorneys that I look forward
 to working with them to pursue the great goals of our Department in the
 weeks and months to come. I have told them that I expected all of them to
 continue to do their jobs in the way they deem best and without any
 improper interference from anyone. Likewise, in those offices where U.S.
 Attorneys have recently departed, I emphasized the need to continue to
 aggressively investigate and prosecute all matters -- sensitive or
 otherwise -- currently being handled by those offices.
     I wish to extend that sentiment to the Committee as well. During the
 past two years, we have made great strides in securing our country from
 terrorism, protecting our neighborhoods from gangs and drugs, shielding our
 children from predators and pedophiles, and protecting the public trust by
 prosecuting public corruption. Recent events must not deter us from our
 mission. I ask the Committee to join me in that commitment and that
 re-dedication.
     We must ensure that all the facts surrounding the situation are brought
 to full light. It is my sincere hope that today's hearing brings us closer
 to a clearing of the air on the eight resignations.
     That is why I intend to stay here as long as it takes to answer all of
 the questions the Committee may have about my involvement in this matter. I
 want this Committee to be satisfied, to be fully reassured, that nothing
 improper was done. I want the American people to be reassured of the same.
     National Security
     As you well know, since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the
 Department's top priority has been to protect the Nation from the threat of
 terrorism. We are proud of our efforts to secure the Nation and are reaping
 the benefits of the momentous changes to the counterterrorism and
 counterintelligence programs we instituted during the last year with your
 support.
     National Security Division
     First, I want to discuss the important role that the new National
 Security Division (NSD) has played in the six months since it was
 established. NSD's goal is to synchronize the Department's counterterrorism
 and counterespionage prosecutions and its intelligence and criminal
 national security programs, including its intelligence-related searches and
 surveillance. When we first created NSD, I directed the new Assistant
 Attorney General for National Security, Ken Wainstein, to build upon the
 oversight capacity within the Division to ensure that the Department's
 national security investigations are conducted efficiently and in an
 appropriate manner, with due regard for the civil rights and liberties of
 all Americans. The Department's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review,
 now a part of the NSD, has long played an important oversight role. As I
 will discuss shortly, we are enhancing that oversight capacity this month,
 as the Department begins a new effort to closely examine the use of
 National Security Letters and other national security authorities by the
 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
     I also want to note that the agents at the FBI, working closely with
 our prosecutors in the National Security Division and in United States
 Attorney's Offices across the Nation, have been working tirelessly to
 pursue terrorists and their supporters and to bring them to justice. In
 just the past few months, we have announced noteworthy arrests and
 prosecutions such as those of Hassan Abujihaad, a former United States Navy
 seaman accused of providing information on United States naval battle group
 movements to terrorist supporters, and Daniel Maldonado, accused of
 fighting alongside extremist Islamic fighters in Somalia. We also have
 announced guilty pleas from individuals such as Tarik Shah, a former
 marital arts instructor from the Bronx who pleaded guilty to conspiring to
 support al Qaeda. Further, following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs
 Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Commerce investigation, corporations
 such as Chiquita Brands, which made sizeable illegal payments to a
 terrorist organization, have learned that they are not immune from criminal
 prosecution. In addition, we have made significant strides in protecting
 classified information and preventing sensitive technology from being sent
 overseas. For example, following a joint ICE and Defense Criminal
 Investigative Service investigation, ITT Corporation recently pleaded
 guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act and agreed to pay a $100
 million in criminal fines and other penalties.
     In order to continue to move forward on these efforts in FY 2008, we
 are requesting $6.6 million to fund critical NSD enhancements, including
 additional funding for crisis management preparation and policy
 development, and legal analysis and coordination. In addition, the FY 2008
 budget includes resources to expand the FBI's national security
 initiatives, including $217 million to advance the FBI's counterterrorism
 and intelligence collection and analysis programs and to upgrade its
 information sharing tools that improve homeland security cohesion and
 efficiency. The FY 2008 budget provides approximately $12 million for the
 Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of National Security Intelligence
 (ONSI). ONSI was designated in February 2006 as a member of the
 Intelligence Community, in recognition of the contributions that the DEA
 makes to national and homeland security. ONSI facilitates full and
 appropriate intelligence coordination and information sharing with other
 members of the Intelligence Community and with homeland security elements
 to enhance our Nation's efforts to reduce the supply of drugs, protect our
 national security, and combat global terrorism.
     In addition to continuing to fund these important efforts, I believe it
 is also important that we continue to work together to modernize our
 national security laws. In particular, it is crucial that we work to update
 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Sweeping and
 unanticipated advances in telecommunications technology since 1978 have
 upset the delicate balance that the Congress originally struck when it
 enacted FISA. As a result, FISA now imposes a regime of court approval on a
 wide range intelligence activities that do not substantially implicate the
 privacy interests of Americans. This unintended expansion of FISA's scope
 has hampered our intelligence capabilities, and has resulted in the
 diversion of scarce Judicial and Executive Branch resources that could be
 better spent safeguarding the liberties of U.S. persons. I look forward to
 working with the Congress to modernize FISA to confront the very different
 technologies and threats of the 21st Century.
     National Security Letters
     I also want to take some time today to let you know that we are
 addressing an issue of great concern to me. About a year ago, the Congress
 reaffirmed the importance of critical law enforcement and intelligence
 tools -- such as National Security Letters (NSLs) -- when it passed the USA
 PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act. While NSLs have enhanced
 America's ability to detect and avert terrorist attacks, there have been
 instances in which their use has been unacceptable. I appreciate the
 Inspector General's important work identifying these shortcomings. Failure
 to properly use a critical authority such as NSLs can threaten to undermine
 the civil liberties of American citizens and erode public support for these
 vital antiterrorism measures. I want to assure you and the American people
 that I am dedicated to remedying these deficiencies and again pledge my
 commitment to protecting Americans from terrorist attacks while protecting
 the liberties that define us.
     At my direction, and with the support of the FBI Director, the
 Department of Justice, including the FBI, has moved aggressively to address
 the issues raised by the Inspector General's report. Let me briefly
 highlight some of the steps that the Department is taking in this regard.
 First, I have ordered NSD and the Department's Chief Privacy and Civil
 Liberties Officer to work closely with the FBI to take corrective actions,
 including implementing all of the recommendations made by the Inspector
 General, and to report directly to me on a regular basis and advise me
 whether any additional actions or efforts need to be taken. I also have
 asked the Inspector General to report back to me in June on the FBI's
 implementation of his recommendations.
     Second, the FBI Director recently ordered a one-time, retrospective
 audit of the use of NSLs. While the Inspector General's audit covered a
 sample of four FBI field offices, the FBI-led effort will examine the use
 of NSLs in all 56 field offices nationwide. We expect results to be
 forthcoming soon and will brief the Congress on our findings. To follow up
 on this one-time audit, at my direction, NSD will begin regular NSL audits
 this month, working in conjunction with the Department's Privacy Office and
 the FBI. We expect these reviews to be conducted in 15 field offices and
 FBI headquarters components over the next year. These regular audits
 represent a substantial new level and type of oversight of national
 security investigations by career Justice Department lawyers with years of
 intelligence and law enforcement experience. As I noted earlier, when NSD
 was formed, I ordered the creation of an enhanced oversight capability
 within the division to evaluate FBI national security investigations and to
 ensure their compliance with applicable legal requirements and guidelines.
 The audits beginning this month are one component of this new focus of the
 division.
     The FBI also issued a Bureau-wide directive prohibiting the use of the
 type of "exigent letters" described in the Inspector General's report. The
 FBI Director has also ordered the FBI Inspection Division to conduct an
 expedited review of the Headquarters unit that issued these letters, in
 order to assess management responsibility for this problem.
     The FBI is also working to improve the accuracy of the reporting of NSL
 statistics to the Congress. The FBI began developing a new NSL tracking
 database last year and plans to deploy the system this year. Until this new
 system is fully deployed, FBI field offices will conduct hand counts of
 NSLs. The FBI also has sampled a much larger number of entries than the
 Inspector General examined in order to attempt to better quantify the error
 rate of prior numbers reported to the Congress. Once this process is
 complete, the FBI will work with the Department and the Inspector General
 to determine the best course of action.
     These steps, among many others that the Department is taking in
 response to the Inspector General's report, embody a recognition of the
 fact that while the authorities that the Congress has provided are critical
 to fighting the War on Terror, we must constantly work to ensure that we
 protect the precious liberties and rights that are vital to our way of
 life. This report tells me very clearly that we must do better, and I am
 personally committed to this effort.
     We all recognize that we cannot afford to make progress in the War on
 Terror at the cost of eroding our bedrock civil liberties. Our Nation is,
 and always will be, dedicated to liberty for all, a value that we cannot
 and will not sacrifice, even in the name of winning this war. I will not
 accept failures in this regard. I look forward to working closely with the
 members of this Committee to address these important issues.
     Protection of Children
     As you know, protecting children against sexual predators is a key
 priority of my tenure. I am proud of the Department's efforts to combat
 these terrible crimes against children, and I appreciate the work of this
 Committee in safeguarding our children's innocence, including its support
 for the Adam Walsh Act, which included statutory authorization for the
 Department's Project Safe Childhood. The Department has moved forward
 aggressively to implement key reforms of the Adam Walsh Act.
     The Adam Walsh Act
     The Adam Walsh Act adopted a comprehensive new set of national
 standards for sex offender registration and notification and directed the
 Department to issue guidelines and regulations to interpret and implement
 these requirements. As an initial matter, I issued an interim regulation on
 February 28, 2007, clarifying that the strengthened Adam Walsh Act
 registration requirements apply to all sex offenders, including those
 convicted prior to the enactment of the Act. The Adam Walsh Act created the
 Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering,
 and Tracking ("SMART Office") in the Department's Office of Justice
 Programs, to administer these requirements. Last winter President Bush
 appointed Laura L. Rogers, a career prosecutor from California, to head the
 SMART Office. She is developing detailed guidelines to assist the States,
 territories, and Indian tribes in incorporating the Adam Walsh Act
 standards in their sex offender registration and notification programs.
 Extensive input has been obtained from interested government officials and
 others for this purpose, and publication of the guidelines for public
 comment will be forthcoming in the next few months.
     In addition to strengthening the substantive standards for sex offender
 registration and notification, the Adam Walsh Act provides for increased
 Federal assistance to States and other jurisdictions in enforcing
 registration requirements and protecting the public from sex offenders. The
 Act directs the Department to use the resources of Federal law enforcement,
 including the United States Marshals Service, to assist jurisdictions in
 locating and apprehending sex offenders who fail to register as required.
 As an initial step in this initiative, the Marshals Service, working with
 its State and local law enforcement partners, apprehended 1,659 sex
 offenders as part of the FALCON III fugitive roundup in October. The
 Marshals Service has developed plans to strengthen its national
 coordination and leadership function in sex offender apprehension under the
 Adam Walsh Act. The President's budget request for FY 2008 includes
 substantial funding for this purpose, proposing $7.8 million for the
 Marshals Service's aggressive pursuit of sexual predators under the Adam
 Walsh Act's provisions.
     The Adam Walsh Act also created an enhanced direct avenue for Federal
 enforcement of sex offender registration requirements. Under new section
 2250 of title 18, sex offenders who knowingly violate the Adam Walsh Act
 registration requirements under circumstances supporting Federal
 jurisdiction, such as failure to register following relocation from one
 State to another, can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. The Department's
 Criminal Division and the United States Attorneys' Offices have developed
 policy and guidance for prosecutions under the new Federal failure to
 register offense and are moving forward aggressively in bringing Federal
 prosecutions in appropriate cases. Since Section 2250 was enacted, Marshals
 Service investigations have resulted in the issuance of 84 arrest warrants
 for fugitives in violation of the law. Marshals and other law enforcement
 officials have been able to arrest 66 of those fugitives.
     Beyond the measures I have described relating to sex offender tracking,
 notification, investigation, apprehension, and prosecution, the Adam Walsh
 Act enacted important reforms affecting the correctional treatment of sex
 offenders. For example, the Act adopted new provisions for civil commitment
 of persons found to be sexually dangerous and subject to Federal
 jurisdiction. This means that court-ordered civil commitment can now be
 sought for a sex offender in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, where it
 can be shown that his condition would make it seriously difficult for him
 to refrain from further acts of molestation if released. Pursuant to the
 Adam Walsh Act commitment provisions, the Bureau of Prisons has 30 inmates
 certified as sexually dangerous persons (not limited to those incarcerated
 for sex offenses) and the responsible United States Attorneys' Offices are
 now engaged in litigation to secure the judicial commitment of these
 individuals as authorized by the Adam Walsh Act. The Bureau of Prisons is
 institutionalizing the screening and certification of inmates who satisfy
 the statutory criteria as sexually dangerous persons, and civil commitment
 of such persons for the protection of the public and for their care and
 treatment will be sought in all appropriate cases.
     The Adam Walsh Act further authorizes the expansion of the Bureau of
 Prisons' sex offender management and treatment efforts. The President's
 budget request for FY 2008 includes $5 million for the Bureau of Prisons to
 add treatment programs at six locations. This supports the Bureau of
 Prisons' objective to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive sex
 offender management program across all prison security levels. This program
 will address the security issues raised by a growing sex offender inmate
 population, and the need to reduce recidivism among such offenders
 following their release.
     Project Safe Childhood
     The Internet is one of the greatest technological advances of our time,
 but it also makes it alarmingly easy for sexual predators to find and
 contact children, as well as trade, collect, and even produce images of
 child sexual exploitation.
     The problem is great, but we have stepped up to the challenge. Through
 Project Safe Childhood (PSC), which is the backbone of the Department's
 efforts to combat child exploitation, we have begun to marshal our
 collective resources and raise online exploitation and abuse of children as
 a matter of public concern. We have sought to do this both through enhanced
 coordination of our law enforcement efforts, especially with the Internet
 Crimes Against Children task forces and our other State and local partners,
 and through cooperation with our non-governmental partners like the
 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to do effective
 outreach to parents and children about how to stay safe online.
     Since I testified last, the Department has undertaken two important
 steps to reduce the incidence of child sexual exploitation and abuse
 facilitated by the Internet, and these steps have begun to show results for
 our enhanced law enforcement efforts.
     The U.S. Department of Justice together with NCMEC and the Ad Council
 announced a new phase of their Online Sexual Exploitation public service
 advertising campaign, "Think Before You Post," designed to educate teenage
 girls about the potential dangers of posting and sharing personal
 information online.
     Popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Sconex
 make it easier for children and teens to post and share personal
 information, pictures, and videos, which may make them more vulnerable to
 online predators. Girls are particularly at risk of online sexual
 exploitation-a recent study by University of New Hampshire researchers for
 NCMEC found that, of the approximately one in seven youths who received a
 sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet, 70 percent were girls.
     The Think Before You Post campaign sends a strong reminder to children
 and their parents to be cautious when posting personal information online
 because, "[a]nything you post, anyone can see: family, friends, and even
 not-so- friendly people." The public service announcements were distributed
 to media outlets throughout the country, and can also be viewed at the
 Department's website www.usdoj.gov.
     Coordination of our law enforcement efforts through our 93 U.S.
 Attorneys will also be advanced by the recent launch of the PSC Team
 Training program, involving teams from five judicial districts, which I
 kicked off at NCMEC's headquarters in February. The training program will
 create a platform from which Federal, State, and local law enforcement
 agencies and non-governmental organizations can effectively work together
 across State and even national borders. The next training session will be
 held in Miami in May, bringing together teams from five additional
 districts. We hope to reach every district by the end of 2008 through a
 series of regional training sessions.
     The Department's enhanced law enforcement efforts have begun to show
 results. In the first quarter of the fiscal year, the Internet Crimes
 Against Children task forces increased the number of arrests for online
 child exploitation and abuse to 527, an increase of 22 percent over the
 same period in FY 2006. Likewise, the U.S. Attorneys have increased the
 number of cases filed. In the first five months of FY 2007, 761 cases have
 been filed. If this pace continues, it will result in as many as 1,826
 cases for the fiscal year, a 13 percent increase over FY 2006. Moreover, we
 are working on the investigative side to support continuing progress in
 this area. In the first quarter of FY 2007, the FBI opened 555
 investigations of online child exploitation cases, both child pornography
 and cyber-enticement, as compared to 438 investigations opened in the first
 quarter for FY 2006. Through these investigations and prosecutions our goal
 is to stop those who prey on our children, and also to deliver a general
 message of deterrence: when you target kids, we will target you.
     We have the power to change the battlefield, and the victory of safe
 childhoods will be our legacy. I look forward to continued work with this
 Committee on this issue that I care deeply about.
     Violent Crime
     Due in large part to the hard work of law enforcement, the Nation's
 crime rates remain near historic lows. The Administration has funded
 numerous initiatives to give Federal, State, and local prosecutors and law
 enforcement the tools needed to reduce violent crime, particularly gang-
 and firearm- related crime. Federal prosecutors continue to focus resources
 on the most serious violent offenders, taking them off the streets and
 putting them behind bars where they cannot re-offend.
     Initiative for Safer Communities
     Where localized increases in crime are being experienced, the
 Department is responding appropriately, working with our State and local
 partners to identify the problem and develop meaningful strategies to
 reduce and deter that crime. To that end, Department officials met with
 local law enforcement and community leaders from 18 jurisdictions across
 the country to investigate the factors contributing to the increase or
 decrease in violent crime in those jurisdictions. No one cause was reported
 as causing local spikes in crime; the problems varied by city and region.
     To address these regional and localized crime challenges, the
 President's FY 2008 budget requests $200 million for the Violent Crime
 Partnership Initiative. The initiative will assist in responding to high
 rates of violent crime, including gang, drug, and gun violence, by forming
 and developing effective multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partnerships
 between Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Through
 these multi- jurisdictional partnerships, we will disrupt criminal gang,
 firearm, and drug activities, particularly those with a
 multi-jurisdictional dimension.
     Project Safe Neighborhoods
     The Initiative for Safer Communities is a supplement to the existing
 Department-led programs aimed at reducing violent crime, such as the
 Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative. PSN programs, led by the
 United States Attorney in each Federal judicial district, link Federal,
 State, and local law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and community
 leaders to implement a multi-faceted strategy to deter and punish gun
 criminals. In the past six years, as a result of PSN, the number of Federal
 firearms prosecutions is more
     than double the number of prosecutions brought during the six years
 prior to PSN's implementation.
     With the support of the Congress, the Department has dedicated more
 than $1.5 billion to this important program. Those funds have provided
 necessary training, hired agents and prosecutors, and supported State and
 local partners working to combat gun crime. For 2008, the President's
 budget requests more than $400 million for PSN, including a $2.2 million
 enhancement to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to
 support increased anti-gang and firearms enforcement efforts, as well as a
 $6.3 million enhancement to establish firearms trafficking teams devoted to
 pursuing trafficking investigations along the Southwest Border and in areas
 of the country identified as concentrated firearms trafficking corridors.
     Gangs
     The Department is also applying the PSN model of collaboration to
 address the danger that violent gangs pose to our neighborhoods. The
 Department has developed a comprehensive strategy to combat gang violence
 that involves the coordination of enforcement and prevention resources to
 target the gangs who terrorize our communities. The Department's Anti-Gang
 Coordination Committee continues to organize the Department's wide-ranging
 efforts to combat the scourge of gangs, and the Anti-Gang Coordinators in
 each United States Attorney's Office continue to provide leadership and
 focus to our anti-gang efforts at the district level.
     Last year, the Department expanded the successful Project Safe
 Neighborhoods initiative to include new and enhanced anti-gang efforts, and
 launched the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, which focuses anti-gang
 resources on prevention, enforcement, and offender reentry efforts in six
 sites throughout the country: Los Angeles, Tampa, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft.
 Worth, Milwaukee, and the "222 Corridor," which stretches from Easton to
 Lancaster in Pennsylvania.
     The Department also created a new national Gang Targeting, Enforcement,
 and Coordination Center (GangTECC) this past year. GangTECC brings together
 all of the operational components of the Department, as well as other
 agencies within the Federal government to coordinate overlapping
 investigations and ensure that tactical and strategic intelligence is
 shared among law enforcement agencies. GangTECC works hand-in-hand with the
 new National Gang Intelligence Center, and the Criminal Division's Gang
 Squad. The President's FY 2008 budget requests resources to further support
 these anti-gang efforts.
     While we have made significant enhancements to our anti-gang efforts at
 the national level, the Department understands that the lion's share of the
 work happens at the local and district level. On the prevention side, in
 accordance with my directive, each U.S. Attorney has convened a Gang
 Prevention Summit in his or her district to explore additional
 opportunities in the area of gang prevention. And on the enforcement side,
 to support the increased focus on anti-gang prosecutions at the Federal
 level, the President's FY 2008 budget requests an enhancement of $4.1
 million for additional anti-gang Federal prosecutors.
     Finally, as you know, the Department has worked closely with this
 Committee as well as the House Judiciary Committee to develop legislation
 to enhance the tools available to Federal law enforcement in its ongoing
 efforts to disrupt and dismantle gangs.
     Drug Enforcement
     The Department continues to devote substantial investigative and
 prosecutorial resources to addressing the problem of drug trafficking. In
 FY 2006, drug cases represented more than 25 percent of all cases filed by
 our U.S. Attorneys and 35 percent of Federal defendants.
     The vast majority of illegal drugs sold in the United States are
 supplied by drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). The Department continues
 to believe that utilizing intelligence to target the highest priority DTOs
 and those entities and individuals linked to the DTOs, using the Drug
 Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Organized Crime and Drug
 Enforcement Task Force program, is the most effective approach to fighting
 the global drug trade and its attendant threats. It is within this
 strategic framework that the Department generally organizes its efforts to
 reduce the supply of illegal drugs. These efforts combine the expertise of
 multiple Federal agencies with international, State, and local partners, to
 mount a comprehensive attack on major drug organizations and the financial
 infrastructures that support them. This approach has been successful. Just
 this past fall, the most significant drug traffickers ever to face justice
 in the United States -- Miguel and Alberto Rodriguez-Orejuela -- pleaded
 guilty in a Federal court in Miami to a charge of conspiracy to import
 cocaine into the United States.
     The Department recognizes that the Southwest Border remains a critical
 front in our Nation's defense against both illegal drug trafficking and
 terrorism. Because a significant amount of drugs that enters the U.S. is
 trafficked by DTOs based in Mexico, the Department has been working closely
 with the Government of Mexico, including in joint cooperative efforts by
 law enforcement. In addition, the Department is continuing discussions with
 the Government of Mexico regarding extraditions of major drug traffickers.
     In addition to its continued efforts on drug trafficking organizations,
 over the past several years the Department has placed a special emphasis on
 reducing the demand for, and supply of, methamphetamine and controlled
 substance prescription drugs.
     In support of the Administration's plan to combat methamphetamine, the
 Department established the Anti-Methamphetamine Coordination Committee to
 oversee the ongoing implementation of initiatives and to ensure the most
 effective coordination of its anti-methamphetamine efforts. The Department
 is enhancing the anti-methamphetamine trafficking and intelligence
 capabilities of law enforcement; assisting tribal, State, and local
 authorities with training, cleanup, and enforcement initiatives; and
 providing grants to State drug court programs that assist methamphetamine
 abusers. On the international front, the Department is working to cut off
 the illicit supply of precursor chemicals by working with our international
 partners.
     The United States Government has established a strong partnership with
 Mexico to combat methamphetamine. In May 2005, the Attorney General of
 Mexico and I announced several anti-methamphetamine initiatives designed to
 address improved enforcement, increased law enforcement training, improved
 information sharing, and increased public awareness. Most of those
 initiatives are now underway and our goals are being met.
     This past year, the Congress enacted important legislation, the Combat
 Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, which regulates the sale of the legal
 ingredients used to make methamphetamine; strengthens criminal penalties;
 authorizes resources for State and local governments; enhances
 international enforcement of methamphetamine trafficking; and enhances the
 regulation of methamphetamine by-products, among other things. The
 Department is committed to enforcing rigorously these new provisions of the
 law in order to address the domestic production of methamphetamine. As
 State laws regulating methamphetamine precursors went into effect, along
 with the new Federal law, we have seen a decline in domestic
 methamphetamine labs.
     The Department remains concerned about the non-medical use of
 controlled substance prescription drugs, which continues to be the fastest
 rising category of drug abuse in recent years. At the same time, the
 Department recognizes that it is critical that individuals who are
 prescribed controlled substance prescription drugs for a legitimate medical
 purpose have access to these important drugs. Rogue pharmacies operating
 illicitly through Internet increasingly have become a source for the
 illegal supply of controlled substances. This issue is a priority for the
 Department, and we are aggressively applying the full range of enforcement
 tools available to us to address this increasing problem. The Department
 looks forward to working with the Congress on additional enforcement tools
 that may be appropriate.
     Civil Rights
     I am pleased to report that the past year has been full of outstanding
 accomplishments in the Civil Rights Division, where we obtained record
 levels of enforcement. This year, the Division celebrates its 50th
 Anniversary. Since its inception in 1957, the Division has achieved a great
 deal, and we have much to be proud. Following are some of the Division's
 more notable recent accomplishments, beginning with two recent initiatives
 and the creation of a new unit within the Criminal Section.
     New Initiatives
     --  On February 20, 2007, I announced The First Freedom Project and
         released a Report on Enforcement of Laws Protecting Religious Freedom
         to highlight and build upon the Division's role in enforcing the
         longstanding Federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on
         religion. This initiative is particularly important to combat
         religious and cultural intolerance in the aftermath of the terrorist
         attacks of September 11, 2001.
     --  In January 2007, I announced the Federal indictment charging James
         Seale for his role in the abduction and murders of two African-
         American teenagers, Henry Dee and Charles Moore, in Mississippi in
         1964. This case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division and
         the local U.S. Attorney's Office. Shortly thereafter, I announced an
         FBI initiative to identify other unresolved civil rights era murders
         for possible prosecution to the extent permitted by the available
         evidence and the limits of Federal law - an effort in which the Civil
         Rights Division will play a key role.
     --  On January 31, 2007, I announced the creation of the new Human
         Trafficking Prosecution Unit within the Criminal Section of the Civil
         Rights Division. This new Unit is staffed by the Section's most
         seasoned human trafficking prosecutors, who will work with our
         partners in Federal and State law enforcement and non-government
         organizations to investigate and prosecute the most significant human
         trafficking crimes, such as multi-jurisdictional sex trafficking
         cases.
     Enforcement
     In addition to these recent advances, the Division has done much to
 further the enforcement of our Federal civil rights laws. In the past year:
     --  the Criminal Section set new records in several areas by charging and
         convicting a record number of defendants - obtaining an overall
         conviction rate of 98 percent, the highest such figure in the history
         of the Criminal Section;
     --  the Criminal Section obtained a record number of convictions in the
         prosecution of human trafficking crimes, deplorable offenses of fear,
         force, and violence that disproportionately affect women and minority
         immigrants;
     --  the Employment Litigation Section filed as many lawsuits challenging a
         pattern or practice of discrimination as during the last three years
         of the previous Administration combined;
     --  the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section filed more cases alleging
         discrimination based on sex than in any year in its history;
     --  the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section conducted significantly more
         tests to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act, pursuant to
         Operation Home Sweet Home, and we are working to achieve an all-time
         high number of such tests this year; and
     --  the Disability Rights Section obtained the highest success rate to
         date in mediating complaints brought under the Americans with
         Disabilities Act -- 82 percent.
     Just a few weeks ago, the Civil Rights Division secured the second
 largest damage award ever obtained by the Justice Department in a Fair
 Housing Act case against a former landlord in the Dayton, Ohio, area for
 discriminating against African Americans and families with children.
     In the past six years, we have ensured the integrity of law enforcement
 by more than tripling the number of agreements reached with police
 departments and convicting 50 percent more law enforcement officials for
 willful misconduct, such as the use of excessive force, as compared to the
 previous six years.
     In the past six years, the Disability Rights Section reached more than
 80 percent of the agreements obtained with State and local governments
 under Project Civic Access, a program that has made cities across the
 country more accessible and made lives better for more than 3 million
 Americans with disabilities.
     Protecting Voting Rights
     Last year, the President and I strongly supported the Voting Rights Act
 Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, appropriately named for three
 heroines of the Civil Rights movement, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and
 Coretta Scott King. This legislation renewed for another 25 years certain
 provisions of the Act that had been set to expire, including Section 5,
 under which all voting changes in certain jurisdictions must be
 "precleared" prior to implementation, sections relating to Federal
 observers and examiners, and Sections 4 and 203, relating to bilingual
 requirements.
     The Voting Rights Act has proven to be one of the most successful
 pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted. However, as long as all
 citizens do not have equal access to the polls, our work is not finished.
 As President Bush said, "In four decades since the Voting Rights Act was
 first passed, we've made progress toward equality, yet the work for a more
 perfect union is never ending."
     At the White House signing ceremony for the 2006 reauthorization Act,
 President Bush said, "My administration will vigorously enforce the
 provisions of this law, and we will defend it in court." The Department of
 Justice is committed to carrying out the President's promise. In fact, the
 Civil Rights Division is currently vigorously defending the Act against a
 constitutional challenge in Federal court here in the District of Columbia.
     A major component of the Division's work to protect voting rights is
 its election monitoring program. Our election monitoring efforts are among
 the most effective means of ensuring that Federal voting rights are
 respected on election day.
     In 2006, we sent more than 1,500 Federal personnel to monitor
 elections, doubling the number sent in 2000, a presidential election year.
 During the general election on November 7, 2006, the Division deployed a
 record number of monitors and observers to jurisdictions across the country
 for a mid-term election. In total, more than 800 Federal personnel
 monitored the polls in 69 political subdivisions in 22 States.
     In addition to our presence at the polls, Department personnel here in
 Washington stood ready with numerous phone lines to handle calls from
 citizens with election complaints, as well as to monitor an Internet-based
 mechanism for reporting problems.
     We had personnel at the call center who were fluent in Spanish and had
 the Division's language interpretation service to provide translators in
 other languages. The Department received more than 200 complaints through
 its phone and Internet-based system on election day. Many of these
 complaints were resolved on election day, and we are continuing to follow
 up on the rest.
     Our commitment to protecting the right to vote is further demonstrated
 by our recent enforcement efforts. In 2006, the Voting Section filed 18 new
 lawsuits, which is more than twice the average number of lawsuits filed
 annually in the preceding 30 years. Moreover, during 2006, the Division
 filed the largest number of cases under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens
 Absentee Voting Act, which ensures that overseas citizens and members of
 the military are able to participate in Federal elections. Finally, in
 2006, the Voting Section processed the largest number of Section 5
 submissions in its history, made two objections to submissions pursuant to
 Section 5, and filed its first Section 5 enforcement action since 1998.
     Last year, we furthered our record of accomplishment during this
 Administration. During the past six years, the Civil Rights Division has
 litigated more cases on behalf of minority language voters than in all
 other years combined since 1975. Specifically, we have successfully
 litigated approximately 60 percent of all language minority cases in the
 history of the Voting Rights Act. Moreover, during the past six years, we
 have brought seven of the nine cases ever filed under Section 208 in the
 history of the Act, including the first case ever under the Voting Rights
 Act to protect the rights of Haitian Americans.
     The work of the Civil Rights Division in recent years reflects the need
 for continued vigilance in the prosecution and enforcement of our Nation's
 civil rights laws. I am committed to building upon our accomplishments and
 continuing to create a record that reflects the profound significance of
 this right for all Americans.
     In addition to its responsibility to protect access to the ballot box,
 the Department is responsible for combating Federal election crimes, such
 as election fraud and campaign financing offenses. In 2002, the Department
 launched the Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative, and the
 investigation and prosecution of these crimes is a priority. With the
 assistance of the FBI, we have investigated over 300 election crime matters
 since the start of the Initiative, charged more than 180 individuals with
 election fraud or campaign financing offenses, and obtained over 130
 convictions. At the present time, over 140 election crime investigations
 are pending throughout the country.
     Every election crime prosecution and voting rights settlement puts
 would- be wrong-doers on notice: We will not tolerate attempts to corrupt
 the electoral process or the infringement of voting rights, period.
     Border Security
     Immigration offenses are the largest category of cases the Department
 files each year. Nearly one third of the 60,000 new cases filed each year
 are for immigration offenses.
     Nevertheless, because immigration enforcement is such a high priority
 for the Department, I am committed to doing more. In the latter half of
 2006, the Department sent 30 additional prosecutors to the southwest border
 districts to help them handle a greater number of immigration cases, as
 well as border narcotics cases. Since 2000, the overall number of Assistant
 U.S. Attorneys working in the southwest border districts has increased by
 about 29 percent. Increasing the number of prosecutors permits these
 districts to take in more cases of all types. Despite these increases, our
 prosecutors on the border still handle some of the largest caseloads in the
 Nation. To further augment our resources, the President has proposed in his
 2008 budget $7.4 million for a Border and Immigration Prosecution
 Initiative to hire 55 additional prosecutors to handle more immigration
 cases. In addition, the budget requests $7.5 million to hire 40 Deputy U.S.
 Marshals to manage the increased workload as a result of increased
 immigration enforcement along the Southwest Border. This funding is needed
 so that we can continue to increase prosecutions and convictions to further
 deter illegal border crossings and achieve control over the border.
     In addition to enhancing enforcement resources, I am eager to work with
 this Committee on creating workable comprehensive immigration reform
 legislation. Such reform, as described by the President, would relieve
 pressure on our borders by creating a temporary worker program to fill jobs
 that Americans do not want, would enhance tools for employers to verify
 that they are hiring only citizens and authorized foreigners, and would
 increase penalties for the employment of unauthorized workers and for other
 immigration offenses. I look forward to working with the Committee on
 comprehensive immigration reform in the coming weeks and months.
     Intellectual Property Enforcement
     Intellectual property ("IP") is a core component of U.S. economic
 health. IP theft undermines U.S. economic security and stifles the creative
 output central to U.S. economic vitality. The Department has made combating
 IP theft a priority.
     The Department of Justice is dedicating more resources than ever before
 to the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights, with a special
 emphasis on prosecuting health and safety cases. Last June, the
 Department's Task Force on Intellectual Property announced that it had
 implemented all 31 of its recommendations to improve IP protection and
 enforcement in the United States and abroad, as described in detail in the
 Progress Report of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Intellectual
 Property (June 2006). In the past two years, we have significantly expanded
 the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) network of Federal
 prosecutors dedicated to the prosecution of high-tech and IP crime. The
 total number of CHIP prosecutors has increased to 230 (with at least one in
 each U.S. Attorney's Office), and the number of specialized CHIP Units has
 nearly doubled to 25 cities nationwide.
     The Task Force's unprecedented efforts to improve criminal IP
 enforcement have yielded, among other successes, substantial increases in
 Federal investigations and prosecutions of IP violations. For instance, the
 number of defendants prosecuted for IP offenses rose 98 percent from 2004
 to 2005, and the number convicted of IP offenses increased more than 50
 percent from 2005 to 2006 (from 124 to 187). Of those convicted, the number
 receiving substantial sentences (25 months or more) increased even more
 sharply - from 17 to 39, an increase of 130 percent. Last year also saw
 substantial increases in the FBI's tally of the number of defendants
 arrested (from 104 to 144, up 40 percent) and charged (from 145 to 191, up
 30 percent) in criminal IP cases.
     In February 2007, the Department obtained one of the first-ever
 extraditions for an intellectual property offense, bringing the leader of
 one of the oldest and most notorious Internet software piracy groups to the
 United States from Australia to face criminal copyright charges. The group
 is estimated to have caused the illegal distribution of more than $50
 million worth of pirated software, movies, and music.
     Recognizing that the effective protection of IP rights depends on
 strong international as well as domestic criminal enforcement regimes, the
 Department has placed special emphasis on improving its international
 outreach and capacity-building efforts. For instance, in 2006, the
 Department established the first-ever IP Law Enforcement Coordinator for
 Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. This IPLEC position is dedicated to advancing
 the Department's regional IP goals through training, outreach, and the
 coordination of investigations and operations against IP crime throughout
 the region. A second IPLEC for Eastern Europe has been established, and we
 will be sending a prosecutor to Sofia, Bulgaria, to fill that position this
 summer. Moreover, in 2006 alone, Criminal Division prosecutors provided
 training and technical assistance on IP enforcement to more than 3,300
 foreign prosecutors, investigators, and judges from 107 countries.
     State, Local, and Tribal Assistance
     In addition to our own law enforcement efforts, the Department supports
 State, local, and tribal law enforcement. The Department's FY 2008 budget
 contains more than $1.2 billion in discretionary grant assistance to State,
 local, and tribal governments, and non-profit organizations, including
 funding for the creation of four new competitive grant programs: the
 Violent Crime Reduction Partnership; the Byrne Public Safety and Protection
 Program; the Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program; and Violence
 Against Women Grants.
     Violent Crime Reduction Partnership
     The President's FY 2008 budget requests $200 million for the Violent
 Crime Reduction Partnership Initiative, which is one of the ways we are
 responding to the recent increase in violent crime. The funding will be
 used to help communities address high rates of violent crime by forming and
 developing effective multi-jurisdictional law enforcement partnerships
 between local, State, tribal, and Federal law enforcement agencies. Through
 these multi- jurisdictional partnerships, we will disrupt criminal gang,
 firearm, and drug activities, particularly those with a
 multi-jurisdictional dimension. Additionally, the Department will target
 this funding to respond to local crime surges it detects through its
 ongoing research.
     Byrne Public Safety and Protection Program
     In addition, the President's budget proposal includes $350 million for
 a simplified and streamlined grant program that would combine the funding
 streams of several programs into the new Byrne Public Safety and Protection
 Program. This initiative consolidates some of the Department's most
 successful State and local law enforcement assistance programs into a
 single, flexible, competitive discretionary grant program. This new
 approach will help State, local, and tribal governments develop programs
 appropriate to the particular needs of their jurisdictions. Through the
 competitive grant process, we will continue to assist communities in
 addressing a number of high-priority concerns, such as (1) reducing violent
 crime at the local levels through the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative;
 (2) addressing the criminal justice issues surrounding substance abuse
 through drug courts, residential treatment for prison inmates, prescription
 drug monitoring programs, methamphetamine enforcement and lab cleanup, and
 cannabis eradication efforts; (3) promoting and enhancing law enforcement
 information sharing efforts through improved and more accurate criminal
 history records; (4) improving the capacity of State and local law
 enforcement and justice system personnel to make use of forensic evidence
 and reducing DNA evidence and analysis backlogs; (5) addressing domestic
 trafficking in persons; (6) improving and expanding prisoner re-entry
 initiatives; and (7) improving services to victims of crime to facilitate
 their participation in the legal process. In addition to State, local, and
 tribal governments, non-government entities will also be eligible for
 funding under this program.
     Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program
     To further our commitment to protecting our Nation's most vulnerable
 citizens, our budget includes $280 million for the new Child Safety and
 Juvenile Justice Program. The Child Safety and Juvenile Justice Program
 initiative consolidates existing juvenile justice and exploited children
 programs, such as Internet Crimes Against Children, into a single, flexible
 grant program. Through a competitive discretionary grant process, the
 Department will assist State and local governments in addressing multiple
 child and juvenile justice needs, such as, reducing incidents of child
 exploitation and abuse, including those facilitated by the use of computers
 and the Internet, improving juvenile justice outcomes, and addressing
 school safety needs. One of the most notable parts of this program is the
 AMBER Alert project, a proven success that has helped rescue hundreds of
 children nationwide. With 50 statewide AMBER plans now in place, we are
 meeting President Bush's goal of a National AMBER Alert network. I am
 committed to ensuring that we have a strong and seamless network in place
 to protect our children.
     Violence Against Women Grants
     The FY 2008 budget includes $370 million for one new, flexible,
 competitive grant program that would consolidate all Violence Against Women
 Act programs, creating a new structure that can address the multiple needs
 of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and
 stalking. This grant program will help communities forge effective
 partnerships among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments and
 between the criminal justice system and victim advocates, and provide
 much-needed services to victims. The funding will continue to enable
 communities to address a range of issues in responding to violence against
 women, including the unique barriers faced by rural communities; the
 importance of training police, prosecutors, and court personnel; the
 critical need of victims for legal assistance, transitional housing, and
 other comprehensive services; the special needs of elderly victims and
 those with disabilities; and the high rate of violence against women in
 Indian country.
     These four new grant programs will enable the Department to more
 effectively target Federal assistance to areas with the greatest need and
 allow for adjustments in funding priorities in response to changes and
 emerging trends in crime and justice issues.
     Responsiveness to Congressional Requests
     Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to discuss with you the
 Department's efforts to improve its responsiveness to the Congress,
 especially questions for the record. You will no doubt recall that
 responses to the Committee's questions for the record from my previous
 hearing more than six months earlier were transmitted to the Committee just
 hours before I testified before you in January. That performance was not
 acceptable to me, as I know it was not acceptable to the Committee.
     In 2005, Department witnesses testified at 94 congressional hearings.
 In 2006, that number rose to 111. So far this year, Department witnesses
 have testified at 30 congressional hearings, and we fully expect this brisk
 pace to continue in the coming months.
     Even as the number of hearings involving Department witnesses has
 increased, the number of questions for the record submitted to the
 Department following those hearings has increased at a more dramatic pace.
 In 2004, the Department provided responses to nearly 500 questions
 submitted for the record following congressional hearings. In 2005, the
 Department provided responses to approximately 1,200 such questions. Last
 year, the total was nearly 1,400.
     So far this year, the Department has already provided the Congress with
 responses to more than 1,200 questions for the record, with a large
 majority of those responses coming to this Committee. Several hundred
 additional responses have also already been submitted for interagency
 clearance prior to submission to the Congress. Most of the responses
 submitted this year are in response to questions received at hearings held
 in 2006, but a large number are from hearings held this year, including
 responses to a large majority of the 430 questions submitted to me
 following my appearance before the Committee hearing in January. So far
 this year, the Department has received nearly 1,000 new questions for the
 record, with roughly three-quarters of them submitted by this Committee.
     I appreciate the importance of oversight and the need for the
 Department to be responsive to the Congress. I believe the Department has
 taken steps to respond to questions for the record in a more timely manner,
 and I intend to see to it that we continue to do so.
     Conclusion
     Thank you for your dedication to all of the issues I have just
 outlined. I look forward to working with you in the coming months on these
 topics and the Department's other missions and priorities.
     (1) "What Congress Gets to Know," by Walter Dellinger and Christopher
 H. Schroeder, Slate, Monday, March 26, 2007.
 
 SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice