Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

David Moon (202) 427-7966 and Moon@DemandProgress.org
David Segal (401) 499-5991 and David@DemandProgress.org

Press Release

Demand Progress Commends House Oversight Committee's Call for DOJ Briefing About Aaron Swartz Prosecution

Calls for White House to respond to petition demanding firing of prosecutor
WASHINGTON -

Demand Progress is praising the leadership of the House Oversight Committee -- Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) -- for demanding a briefing from the Department of Justice on the prosecution of Demand Progress co-founder Aaron Swartz. Their letter calling for such a briefing may be found here:

http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2013-01-28-DEI-EE…

A renown technologist and Internet activist, Swartz tragically committed suicide earlier this month. He was being threatened with decades in prison for downloading too many academic journal articles. Swartz's friends and family believe that the heavy-handed prosecution by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and her deputy Stephen Heymann helped compel him to take his own life.

According to Demand Progress executive director David Segal, "We commend Representatives Issa and Cummings for taking the first steps in an investigation into Aaron's prosecution. We believe that a non-partisan inquiry into prosecutors' handling of Aaron's case will air important facts, demonstrate the over-breadth of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act -- under which he was prosecuted, and might even reveal misconduct on the part of the prosecutors who led the crusade against him."

Additionally, Demand Progress has demanded that the Obama administration issue a response to an online petition -- housed on the White House's website -- that calls for the firing of Ortiz. The petition broke through the 25,000 signature threshold which is supposed to guarantee a response from the President more than two weeks ago, but the White House has yet to issue a statement. Internet users can join in Demand Progress's calls for a response -- and for Ortiz's firing -- by visiting:

http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/wh_ortiz/

The White House petition may be found here:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district…

According to Segal: "Thousands of Internet users have demanded answers. Congress is demanding answers. It's time for the White House to respond and let us know if they're going to do justice by Aaron and fire Ortiz."

###

Demand Progress amplifies the voice of the people — and wields it to make government accountable and contest concentrated corporate power. Our mission is to protect the democratic character of the internet — and wield it to contest concentrated corporate power and hold government accountable.

'Intentional Vandalism' Leaves Thousands Without Power in North Carolina

One right-wing extremist implied that multiple electrical substations were targeted to disrupt a drag show in Moore County. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI are investigating.

Kenny Stancil ·


GOP Silence on Trump's Call to Axe Constitution Reveals 'Full Embrace of Fascism': House Dem

"Last week the leader of the Republican Party had dinner with a Nazi leader and a man who called Adolf Hitler 'great,'" said Rep. Bill Pascrell. "Yesterday Trump called for throwing out the Constitution and making himself dictator."

Kenny Stancil ·


Protesting Fuel Poverty, People Tell UK Government to 'Keep Everyone Warm This Winter'

As energy bills—and fossil fuel profits—continue to soar, demonstrators around Britain demanded immediate action from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of Parliament.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Turn Off the Tap on Plastic,' UN Chief Declares Amid Debate Over New Global Treaty

"Plastics are fossil fuels in another form," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, "and pose a serious threat to human rights, the climate, and biodiversity."

Kenny Stancil ·


EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo