Prosecution among Friends
Presidents, Attorneys General, and Executive Branch Wrongdoing
Presidential Studies - Political Science
6 x 9, 224 pp.
3 charts. 4 tables. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 09/01/2012
Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership
  unjacketed cloth
Price:        $50.00 x

978-1-60344-744-7
  paper
Price:        $27.95 s

978-1-60344-745-4
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Prosecution among Friends

Presidents, Attorneys General, and Executive Branch Wrongdoing

David Alistair Yalof

Can Justice Department officials effectively investigate wrongdoing within their own administration without relying on an independent counsel?

In Prosecution among Friends political scientist David Alistair Yalof explores the operation of due process as it is navigated within the office of the attorney general and its various subdivisions. The attorney general holds a politically appointed position within the administration and yet, as the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officer, is still charged with holding colleagues and superiors legally accountable. That duty extends to allegations against those who had a hand in appointing the attorney general in the first place: Even the President of the United States may be enmeshed in a Justice Department investigation overseen by the attorney general and other department officials.

To assess this fundamental problem, Yalof examines numerous cases of executive branch corruption—real or alleged—that occurred over the course of four decades beginning with the Nixon administration and extending up through the second Bush administration. All of these cases—Watergate, Whitewater, and others—were identified and reported to varying degrees in the press and elsewhere. Some garnered significant attention; others drew only limited interest at the time. In all such cases the attorney general and other officials within the executive branch were charged with initially assessing the matter and determining the proper road for moving forward. Only a handful of the cases resulted in the appointment of a statutorily protected independent counsel.

DAVID ALISTAIR YALOF, associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, won the 1999 Richard E. Neustadt Award for the Best Book on the Presidency with his title, Pursuit of Justices: Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees (University of Chicago Press).

What Readers Are Saying:

". . . a terrific book . . . "--Nancy Kassop, professor of political science, State University of New York--New Paltz and past president, APSA Presidents and Executive Politics section


"In Prosecution among Friends, David Yalof carefully analyzes episodes in which the Justice Department dealt with accusations of wrongdoing by members of the president's administration and skillfully identifies explanations for the differing success with which accusations were handled. The book is valuable for its insights on the functioning of the justice system under special and difficult conditions."--Lawrence Baum, professor of political science, Ohio State University


“This new volume addresses a persistent problem for US government. This book does an excellent job of explaining why investigation of executive branch misconduct is inescapably difficult in the US system of government.”—M. E. Ethridge, Choice


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