Two members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today sent a letter to Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, requesting answers to a number of granular questions concerning the prosecution of late Internet activist Aaron Swartz by the Department of Justice.

Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings co-signed the letter.

The missive notes the fact that each felony count against Mr. Swartz was dated, turning it into a unique felony charge, drastically upping the total potential penalty that could be applied in the case. It also repeats findings from the Wall Street Journal that Swartz turned down a plea deal to a number of felony counts that would include between 7 and 8 months of jail time.

He was told that if he did not take the deal, 7 to 8 years in prison would be sought instead. Aaron was found recently found dead in his apartment, deceased by apparent suicide.

The letter ends with seven questions, which it requests that the Justice department answer as the situation is “no longer a criminal case:”


What’s lovely about the above list is that it includes both technical questions – the CFAA and the limits of its purview – and questions that are directly confrontational, accusatory, and likely incisive, such as the second bullet point concerning SOPA.

The letter demands that the briefing be scheduled no later than Monday, February 4th. TNW will be watching.

Top Image Credit: Joi Ito