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Whistleblower Advocates Call For Department Of Justice To Protect Whistleblower Amidst Attorney General Garland Hearings

Date 23/02/2021

Today, Merrick Garland will appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, marking the second day of his two-day confirmation hearing to become the nation’s next attorney general of the Justice Department.

 

While Garland will spend most of the confirmation hearings answering questions related to partisan politics, the whistleblower community is more concerned about his plans to transform the DOJ into an effective and consistent advocate for whistleblowers.

The independent newspaper Whistleblower Network News published an editorial calling for Congress to question Garland’s stance on whistleblower protections and his ideas for changing policies that lead to the unnecessary prosecution of whistleblowers.

“Congress should insist that the new Attorney General reach out to the whistleblower community, learn the issues that they face, and take steps to fix these problems,” the editorial stated. “The Attorney General must take the lead in modernizing the Justice Department’s approach to whistleblowers and ensure that the tremendous contributions of whistleblowers to the detection and prosecution of frauds are effectuated, as intended by Congress.”

Leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at the law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, penned a message to AG nominee Garland in the National Law Review outlining the necessary steps needed to ensure the DOJ protects whistleblowers going forward. “It is time for the next Attorney General to make the Department of Justice the “Whistleblower’s Advocate,” Kohn said.  

The Justice Department has a unique responsibility in litigating whistleblower-initiated cases under the Securities Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and IRS tax whistleblower laws.