Political interference in the Justice Department lawsuit against Big Tobacco. 3 then DOJ officials Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum (No.3 at the DOJ), head of the Civil Division Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and his deputy, Dan Meronin intervened in June 2005 at the last minute in the government’s case. They torpedoed a provision which would have removed corporate officers shown to have engaged in fraud. They asked that some witnesses weaken their testimony. They also reduced a government demand for an industry funded smoking cessation program from $130 billion to $10 billion. Later, the presiding federal judge Gladys Kessler ruled that a prior appellate court decision precluded such a program. Of course, this was not the argument which the DOJ officials were making. Their interest was in keeping Big Tobacco from taking a Big Hit.