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Nation in brief: Jury probes political meddling

A grand jury is examining possible discrepancies in testimony last year by former Justice Department civil rights division chief Bradley J. Schlozman, people familiar with the investigation said Monday.

Federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia recently began to issue subpoenas after receiving a referral from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and its Office of Professional Responsibility.

The subpoenas give prosecutors the power to compel testimony from former Justice attorneys, many of whom had refused to speak with investigators. The internal watchdogs have been conducting a probe into allegations of political meddling in employment and enforcement decisions at the Justice Department.

Schlozman resigned last August under fire for Senate testimony in which he acknowledged that he bragged about recruiting people who shared his conservative views for the civil rights unit.

Tarboro, N.C.

Couple faces murder charges

A couple accused of killing their 13-year-old son by tying him to a tree for two nights for punishment appeared in a North Carolina courtroom Monday to face charges of murder and felony child abuse.

Brice Brian McMillan, 41, and his wife Sandra Elizabeth McMillan, 36, of Macclesfield, did not enter a plea.

The county sheriff’s office has said Brice McMillan told a deputy the teen was being disobedient and was forced to sleep outside last Tuesday while tied to a tree. The teen was released Wednesday morning, but again tied up that night for bad behavior.

Sheriff James Knight has said the boy was left tied to the tree until the following afternoon, when his stepmother found him unresponsive.

Arrest warrants said the child sustained “bruising to the wrist, cuts to entire body, missing flesh from buttocks, results from being tied to a tree for approximately 18 hours resulting in death.”


White House office exempt from FOIA

The White House does not have to make public internal documents examining the potential disappearance of e-mails sent during some of the Bush administration’s biggest controversies, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Monday.

In a 39-page opinion, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said Monday that the White House’s Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Office of Administration announced it would no longer comply with the FOIA last August, three months after an independent watchdog group had filed a lawsuit seeking to discover what happened to the e-mails, which may have vanished from White House computer archives.


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