WASHINGTON -- Then a senator, John Ashcroft accused Attorney General Janet Reno in 1998 of stonewalling when she didn't want to turn over prosecutors' memos to Congress. Now Reno's successor, Ashcroft is refusing to turn over similar memos.
The shift has left one of Ashcroft's fellow Republicans, House committee chairman Dan Burton, frustrated enough to accuse President Bush's attorney general of using a double standard.
"I am concerned that you have one standard for a Democrat attorney general and another standard for yourself," Burton wrote in a pointed letter to Ashcroft on Wednesday.
The Justice Department said it was refusing to turn over memos of decision-making by prosecutors because it wants to protect the privacy of people under investigation and ensure prosecutors are comfortable exchanging advice without fear their thoughts will be made public.
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