Officials from the Department of Justice
have told a North Carolina congressman that it's too early to
launch a federal investigation into the handling of the Duke
Representative Walter Jones wrote Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales last month. He asked that the Department of Justice
investigate whether the district attorney prosecuting three Duke
lacrosse players has violated the athletes' civil rights.
The three players are charged with sexual assault and
The Justice Department's Office of Legislative Affairs responded
last week that it was premature to initiate a federal investigation
while criminal charges and other investigations at the state level
The state attorney general's office took possession of all Duke
lacrosse files late Tuesday afternoon. Durham County District Attorney
Mike Nifong requested that a special prosecutor take over the case.