Wednesday, February 08, 2006

hastert and sibel

BradBlog has the VF letter from Haster's Lawyer, David Rose's response, and a response from sibel.

Update: miguel has helpfully transcribed the text of the letters (thnx miguel!)
"Hastert’s Money Trail

“An Inconvenient Patriot” (September) by David Rose, contains references to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert which could suggest that accusations in a wiretap concerning unaccounted-for contributions were credible and possibly true; those references were themselves unfounded. Unlike many public officials, Speaker Hastert retains information on the identity and residence of contributors, including those contributing less than $200. Those records indicate that there was no basis for suggesting that there were numerous unaccounted-for contributions, much less hundreds of thousands of them. The facts are: the data regarding contributions of less than $200 provide the identity of the donors of Speaker
Hastert’s un-itemized contributions, confirming that none were of questionable
origin or legality. In fact, less than $9,200 (not $500,000, or even tens of thousands of dollars) was donated in October 2000, and only five contributors (whose donations amounted to less than $1,000 total) were from somewhere other than Illinois.

Randy Evans
Counsel to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert
Atlanta, GA

DAVID ROSE REPLIES: My article did not suggest that the alleged contents of F.B.I. wiretaps in which the Turkish targets spoke of donations to Mr. Hastert’s campaign were credible or true. Indeed, it stated that their claims may have been “hollow boasts”. The point is that the contents have been described by the former F.B.I. translator Sibel Edmonds to congressional investigators, but only under conditions of strict secrecy, and as long as the government persists in smothering her case beneath the state-secrets privilege, there is no possibility of testing the veracity of any of her allegations, the reported Hastert wiretaps included. "
As many have noted - a very weak response from Evans, and also a soft response from David Rose. Let's see if we can get Hastert's full records released.

and Sibel's response (from BradBlog):
"1) Why is Hastert refusing to declare all donations?

On August 16, 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requesting an investigation into whether Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s campaign committee illegally accepted campaign contributions from foreign nationals in 2000 and 2001. Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, stated “if Hastert for Congress received an unusually large number of contributions in amounts just under $200 in a relatively condensed period of time, the treasurer’s suspicions should have been raised, particularly if many of these checks appeared to be made out by individuals with foreign names.” “As a result,” Sloan continued, “the treasurer should have followed the procedures outlined by the FEC to discover whether, in fact, the campaign illegally received contributions from foreign nationals.”

“The sheer number of small contributions should have raised a red flag. Hastert’s campaign committee was obligated to ensure that no laws were being broken. It is now time for a thorough investigation into Hastert’s finances.”

2) Why did Hastert’s office refuse to provide Vanity Fair with information refuting the claims prior to the article being published despite many attempts by VF?

3) The article correctly establishes the timeline (Hastert receiving illegal donations) as 1996 to 2002. Why did Randy Evans pick only October 2000 for his letter in response to the article on Hastert by VF?

4) One of the sources for VF on wiretaps involving Dennis Hastert is identified as an FBI Counterintelligence official who worked on this particular case; does Mr. Evans accuse this source of lying?:

“It began in D.C.,” says an F.B.I. counter-intelligence official who is familiar with the case file. “It became apparent that Chicago was actually the center of what was going on.”

Its subject was explosive; what sounded like attempts to bribe elected members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican. “There was pressure within the bureau for a special prosecutor to be appointed and take the case on, “the official says. Instead, his colleagues were told to alter the thrust of their investigation – away from elected politicians and toward appointed officials. “This is the reason why Ashcroft reacted to Sibel in such an extreme fashion,” he says “It was to keep this from coming out.”

5) Mr. Evans states: ‘… and only five contributors (whose donations amounted to less than $1,000 total) were from somewhere other than Illinois.’

Nothing in the VF article suggested that questionable donations only came from OUTSIDE Illinois. It is likely that many (most) came from within Illinois – after all – Chicago is certainly in Illinois.

6) Why doesn’t Hastert disclose all the contributions (those under $200), to all his PACs (he has several) for the years between 1997 and 2001? Many congressman do just that; why not come clean & show us yours Mr. Hastert?

7) In the VF article Hastert’s spokesman says that Hastert has no affiliation with the A.T.C. [American-Turkish Council] or other groups reportedly mentioned in the wiretaps: “He does not know these organizations.”

a. Please refer to Mr. Hastert’s trips to Turkey (all trips that took place- 1996-2002); its sponsors…they are self evident. Now how can he claim not knowing these entities (very intimately)?

b. Also, should we refer to Mr. Hastert’s dealing with the named foreign organization via [former House Speaker] Bob Livingston’s lobbying firm (Livingston Group)?

8) Finally, the article by VF had several sources in the congress and several sources within the FBI counterintelligence division. I was not cited as a source." (emph in orig)

(start here for my other sibel posts)

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