John David Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft served as U.S. Attorney General from 2001 to 2004, and following that took a teaching position at Pat Robertson's Regent University as Distinguished Professor of Law and Government and formed a lobbying firm called the Ashcroft Group.  He graduated from Yale in 1963 and received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1967, and is considered to be a neo-conservative , a devout Christian, and a grittily determined singer, even at staff meetings. 
"Ashcroft served as one of Missouri's representatives in the U.S. Senate. He was elected in 1994. Previously, Attorney General Ashcroft served as Governor of Missouri, serving in that position from 1985 until 1993. He began his career of public service in 1973 as Missouri Auditor and was later elected to two terms as the state's Attorney General." 
In the 2000 election year, Ashcroft was defeated in his run for re-election to the U.S. Senate by Democrat Mel Carnahan, who remained on the Missouri ballot after he died in a plane crash. Less than three months later, Ashcroft won confirmation as President Bush's Attorney General by a 58-42 margin, the narrowest in recent times. Ashcroft announced his resignation as U.S. Attorney General on November 9, 2004.  His handwritten letter was dated November 2nd, citing gratitutde, success, and a belief in fresh leadership to take his place.
Ashcroft has been outspoken in his opposition to abortion rights and was cricized by civil rights groups for opposing the nomination of a black Missouri Supreme Court justice to the federal bench. "He also has come under fire for comments he made to the Southern Partisan, a magazine defending the historical reputation of the Civil War-era Confederacy," CNN noted. 
Corruption in U.S. Government
Ashcroft has made bold public statements against corruption by public officials. In particular he highlighted the need for law enforcment and the U.S. Department of Justice to keep their "own houses clean".  Ashcroft believed that the majority of corruption in government is unreported, undetected, and escapes investigation and prosecution: "We know that we can only detect, investigate and prosecute a small percentage of those officials who are corrupt."
As a Senator, John Ashcroft argued against a 1998 bill proposed by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to enact comprehensive legislation aimed at protecting children from tobacco, arguing that the cost of such regulation would be passed on to cigarette consumers, thereby placing an unfair tax burden on low income families and inviting a lengthy court battle from tobacco companies.
Ashcroft also served on the advisory board of the Washington Legal Foundation, a group that receives funding from Philip Morris] to carry out "advocacy," and which has been consistently hostile to legal and public health efforts to regulate tobacco and hold tobacco companies accountable for the damage caused by their products.  
Associated Press religion writer Richard N. Ostling, wrote, in his February 10, 2001, article "Bush's plan deeply rooted. Protestant thinkers helped shape his faith-based initiative":
"Ashcroft aide Annie Billings White, an evangelical Protestant like her boss, offered to seek advice from church-state expert Carl H. Esbeck, one of her law professors at the University of Missouri. As it happened, Esbeck had just delivered an extensive research paper at Chicago's DePaul University on the obstacles and the pressures to secularize when religious programs join service programs funded by government.
"Esbeck, a Protestant, has since become director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom at the Christian Legal Society, an organization of 3,800 attorneys and law students based in Annandale, Va. He had sketched a law designed to grant publicly funded agencies more religious leeway while meeting church-state objections. He felt this was in line with less rigid Supreme Court rulings on church and state since 1981.
"The professor sent his draft law and his Chicago paper to White. That was the germ of the 'charitable choice' provision in the 1996 welfare reform law, one of the most important legislative efforts by Ashcroft, now U.S. attorney general."
On the White House office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, Ostling wrote: "Creation of the office is in concert with Bush's pledge to spend $8 billion in expanding 'charitable choice', in which churches and religious groups receiving federal funding to provide social services may now proselytize. ... Scott McClellan said on Jan. 7  that 'reaching out to faith-based groups that have a proven record of saving and changing lives is a top priority of President-elect Bush.'
"The primary engineer of 'charitable choice' was John Ashcroft, Bush's controversial nominee for Attorney General, who as U.S. Senator pushed through a 'charitable choice' amendment to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act ( 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act ) at the eleventh hour." 
- Bush administration
- Bush administration warrantless wiretapping
- David Kuo
- National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Testimony (John David Ashcroft)
- Threat Advisory security alert nonsense: John Ashcroft
Articles and other resources
- "Profile: John Ashcroft," Right Web Profile (Somerville, NM: International Relations Center, December 21, 2007).
- People for the American Way, "The Right-Wing Affiliations of Bush Administration Officials."
- "Bush picks Ford veteran Rumsfeld to lead Pentagon", CNN, December 28, 2000.
- James Collins, A quiet Ashcroft turned to books and faith at Yale, Yale Daily News, January 15-19, 2001.
- We're Not Destroying Rights, We're Protecting, Parade Magazine, May 19, 2002.
- Elaine Cassel, A Recent Judicial Reprimand of Attorney General Ashcroft Exposes a Pattern of Gag Order and Ethics Violations By His Office, Findlaw's Legal Commentary, April 30, 2003.
- Dan Eggen and Jim VandeHei, Ashcroft Taking Fire From GOP Stalwarts, Washington Post, August 29, 2003.
- Investigating Leaks, New York Times Op-Ed, October 2, 2003: "Attorney General John Ashcroft has put himself and the president in a very dangerous position with his handling of the Justice Department's investigation into how Robert Novak got the name of a C.I.A. operative for publication in his syndicated column. After career lawyers conducted a preliminary investigation into the leaking of the officer's name, Mr. Ashcroft chose to proceed with a full investigation within the Justice Department. He did so despite department guidelines that would have permitted him to appoint an outsider, who would serve at Mr. Ashcroft's discretion but could make independent decisions. Instead, Mr. Ashcroft has decided to leave the investigation under the authority of the department's counterespionage office. That office employs career lawyers who routinely investigate this sort of leak and have the security clearances to do so with dispatch." Re covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.
- Elisabeth Bumiller and Eric Lichtblau, Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures, New York Times, October 2, 2003: "Deep political ties between top White House aides and Attorney General John Ashcroft have put him into a delicate position as the Justice Department begins a full investigation into whether administration officials illegally disclosed the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer." Names of inquiry figures associated with Ashcroft are: Karl Rove and Jack Oliver.
- Prosecutor in terror case controversy sues Ashcroft, USA Today, February 17, 2004: "A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case, compromised a confidential informant and exaggerated results in the war on terrorism. ... Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit accused the Justice Department of "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a whistleblower lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court in Washington. ... Justice officials said Tuesday they had not seen the suit and had no comment."
- Bruce S. Ticker, "'The untouchables: Scalia and Ashcroft'," Smirking Chimp, April 27, 2004.
- "Ashcroft's Interest" The American Prospect, July 8, 2004.
- "Exclusive: Plame Game Over?" The American Prospect, April 6, 2005.
- Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Ashcroft joins K Street legions," The Hill', May 1, 2005.
- "Weiss Fights Terror with Ashcroft," O'Dwyer's PR Daily, May 4, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Exclusive: House Democrats Ask Justice Inspector General to Investigate Plame In Plame Plot," Whatever Already!(blog), Aug. 16, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Rove and Ashcroft Face New Allegations in Plame Affair," Village Voice, August 19, 2005.
- Murray Waas,"While You Were Watching Katrina," Village Voice, Sept. 16, 2005,
- Bill Berkowitz, ""Let the dollars soar": Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft cashes in as Homeland Security lobbyist", Media Transparency, February 3, 2006.
- Murray Waas, "Pressure on Ashcroft to Recuse Grows" Alternet, Oct. 31, 2005.
- Murray Waas, "Plame Game Over?" American Prospect, April 6, 2005.
- Shane Harris and Murray Waas, "Justice Department Probe Foiled" National Journal, May 25, 2006.
- Murray Waas,"What Ashcroft Was Told," National Journal, June 8, 2006. re Treasongate: Beyond Karl Rove
- Tom Magurie, "We Help the Editors at the National Journal," Just One Minute, Jan. 12, 2007.
- "Ashcroft Opposed Privacy Intrusions," NewsMax, May 20, 2007. re Bush administration warrantless wiretapping
- Michael Isikoff, "Calling John Ashcroft. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have asked the former attorney general to testify about his role in a dramatic showdown over a controversial eavesdropping program. Will he play ball?" Newsweek (MSNBC), June 1, 2007.
- John Ashcroft, op/ed: "Uncle Sam on the Line," New York Times, November 5, 2007.
- Murray Waas,"What Bush Told Gonzales," The Atlantic, Sept. 26, 2008.
- Murray Waas, "Bush Appointees Attempted to Thwart U.S. Attorney Probe," personal blog, Sept. 28, 2008.
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