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The Pierrepont Letter

The Pierrepont Letter image
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Attorney uenerai ï'ierrepom waa examined by the Jndiciary Committee of ;he House of Representativos the other iay in regard to the alleged Executive ïnterfereneo with tho late crookedivhisky trials in the West. Piorrepont's account of his circular letter to Districtattorneys is that the President was very much disturbed at tile cönstalit receipt of newspapor slips, and letters, and personal statements, giving information of attetapts on the part of Governmsnt officials in the West to comprOmise fraud on the revenue, and that the PVesident spoke to hiin on fivo or six different occasions expressing his fear that sneh things, if allowed, would bring scandal on the administration. Pierrepont hiinself was rather inclined to treat these statements as exaggerations, and did not believe that District-attorneys or special counsel of the Government would be guilty of anything improper in the matter. Ho liad, therefore, i-ather warded off the President's advances untü finally the President suggested that tho Attorney-general had better write to the District-attorneys on the subject. Pierrepont had, therefore, prepared and forwarded a letter couched, as he said, in terms that were rather tame. Nobody had made a draught of this letter, and he had not submitted it to the President; in fact, the Presideni knew nothing of it for tliree or four days afterward, when he asked Pierrepont whether he had taken auy action in the matter, and then he told him he had written this letter, and he sent him a copy of it. A couple of days afterward, on discovering that the letter had been published in Chicago papers on the lst of February, himself and Mr. Bristow expressed great iudignation in the presence of the President at tho gross impropriety of giving publicity to it, and then the President, who did not manifest any feeling whatover on the subject, remarking that he had never read the letter. Pierrepont fnrther stated that Gen. Babcock admitted to him on the 3d of March that he was instrumental in giving publicity to the letter, and defended himself on tho ground that they were trying to destroy him, and that he had the right to defend himself. He (Pierrepont) called the President's atteiition, tho next day, to Babcock's adBoissiou. The committee wanted to know why Babcock did not cali for a court of inquiry to ascertain whether he had been guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman ; whether he was still Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds, etc., but Pierrepont wao unable to give information on those points,


Old News
Michigan Argus