Janet Reno

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Janet Reno (1938- ) served as Attorney General of the United States "from March 12, 1993 until the end of the Clinton administration (January 2001). Janet Reno held various states attorney positions in the state of Florida prior to her federal appointment. She was the first woman to hold the office of Attorney General of the United States." [1]

Janet Reno. (Photo from USDOJ.gov)

Janet Reno and the Tobacco Industry

In December 1994, while serving as United States Attorney General, Reno received from Massachusetts Fifth District Congressman [[Martin T. Meehan]] a 120 page "Prosecution Memorandum" requesting the Department of Justice initiate a formal criminal investigation and a Grand Jury to investigate the conduct of a number of tobacco companies and their executives, lawyers, public relations agents, scentists, trade associations and suppliers. Meehan claimed tobacco company witnesses may have committed purjury under sworn testimony before the U.S. Congress and suggested they may have committed other violations of Federal criminal laws.[2]

Reno was Attorney General when the Department of Justice filed its September 22, 1999 lawsuit against the major American tobacco companies. The United States alleged that over the past 45 years the companies had waged an intentional coordinated campaign of fraud and deceit. The lawsuit sought to recover billions of Medicare and Medicaid taxpayer dollars spent on treating sick smokers.[3]

The case was completed in August 2006, when Federal District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled the companies were guilty of racketeering, fraud and conspiracy.[4]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Leadership, American Constitution Society, accessed February 9, 2008.
  2. Directors, Innocence Project, accessed December 20, 2008.

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