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Impeachment of U.S. Judge Acquitted of Bribery Urged

October 07, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A judicial investigative report released today charges that U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Miami "attempted to corruptly use his office for personal gain" and says the House should consider impeaching him.

Hastings, who flew to Washington to obtain his own copy of the report, was acquitted in 1983 of conspiring to solicit a $150,000 bribe from two convicted racketeers in exchange for a promise of lenient sentences.

Hastings told reporters at a hallway news conference in a congressional office building that if they were looking for a "smoking gun" in the 381-page report, they would be disappointed. "You ain't gonna find even a fizzling pistol," he said.

The report, prepared by a special five-judge Circuit Court panel, declared:

"The bedrock upon which the reputation of the judiciary rests is that the action of federal judicial officers is not for sale. Judge Hastings attempted to corruptly use his office for personal gain. Such conduct cannot be excused or condoned even after Judge Hastings has been acquitted of the criminal charges."

The report released by the House concluded that "there is clear and convincing evidence that Judge Hastings sought to conceal his participation in the bribery scheme and to explain away evidence connecting him with the sale of justice and that he pursued these objectives through concocting and presenting fabricated documents and false testimony in a United States District Court."

"Judge Hastings' conduct was premeditated, deliberate and contrived," it said.

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