Testifying alongside former attorney general Dick Thornburgh
and a lawyer for Don Siegelman
at the House Judiciary Committee's hearing this morning on selective prosecutions is Prof. Donald Shields, the co-author of a study on federal investigations of Republicans and Democrats.
Shields' study, first reported back in February
, looked at
reports of investigations throughout the country. The study found that Democrats were investigated far more than Republican officeholders.
You can see Shields' opening statement for the hearing here
, which draws on an update of the study. The key to his findings, he says, is a much higher rate of âbelow the radarâ prosecutions of state and local officials.
A new control group study of investigations by state and local law enforcement, he says, found no such disparity: "Their investigation rates mirrored the national percentages: of 50 % Democrats, 41 % Republicans and 9% Independents/Others."
But "when it comes to investigation and indictment of local officials by the [Department of Justice], the numbers are staggeringly disproportionate: 80% Democrats; 14% Republicans; and 6% Independent â that's 5.6 Democrats investigated for each Republican: 5.6:1 when the ratio should be 1.2:1."