One Day After Frontline Airs Critical Report on Justice Department’s Lanny Breuer, WaPo Reports He’s Stepping Down

By Pam Martens: January 23, 2013

Lanny Breuer, Assistant U.S. Attorney General and Head of the Criminal Division of DOJ

The Washington Post is reporting this afternoon that Lanny Breuer, head of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the focus of a damaging report by producer Martin Smith for the PBS program, Frontline, that aired last evening, is stepping down from his post.

The portion of the program that likely galvanized the White House was the startling report by prosecutors that had worked under Breuer in the criminal division of the DOJ that there wasn’t even a pretense of a real investigation against the major Wall Street firms: no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.

Following is the verbatim transcript of that portion of the program:

NARRATOR: Frontline spoke to two former high-level Justice Department prosecutors who served in the Criminal Division under Lanny Breuer. In their opinion, Breuer was overly fearful of losing.

MARTIN SMITH: We spoke to a couple of sources from within the Criminal Division, and they reported that when it came to Wall Street, there were no investigations going on. There were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps.

LANNY BREUER: Well, I don’t know who you spoke with because we have looked hard at the very types of matters that you’re talking about.

MARTIN SMITH: These sources said that at the weekly indictment approval meetings that there was no case ever mentioned that was even close to indicting Wall Street for financial crimes.

Read our morning coverage of the Frontline program here, which looks at the scandalous past of the law firm, Covington & Burling, whose former partners, including Breuer and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, hold three top posts at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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