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Ethics Experts: One of the real charades of the Smith hearings was the use of so-called “independent legal ethics experts” whom Leahy turned to as experts on Smith’s judicial ethics. There were three, law professors all: New York University Professor Stephen Gillers, Northwestern University’s Steven Lubet, and Hofstra University’s Monroe Freedman. Leahy and his Democratic colleagues turned to all three, never revealing that Gillers was an active left-wing partisan publicly credited by the anti-Smith CRC’s for his help in reviewing drafts of a CRC “report” manifesto on the federal judiciary entitled “Nothing for Free.” Lubet was a financial contributor to the Democratic Senatorial Committee, while Freedman served as part of an AFJ delegation of 20 law professors to lobby undecided Senators on Smith.
Funding: Never was it mentioned by Leahy that the work to supply the research for the Democrats on Judiciary (those pesky questions to Judge Smith) was financed in part by a $50,000 grant from left-wing billionaire George Soros. Nor did Leahy ever mention that the Washington Post had struck a deal with Soros — his funded-research painting an unethical portrait of sitting judges in return for a front page story in the Post, an arrangement that caused a stiff protest from then Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
On the day of the full committee vote, while a line of the waiting public snaked through the corridor, People for the American Way president Ralph Neas ignored the line, walking casually through the entrance reserved for Senators. Emerging from behind the dais, he walked to the public area and positioned himself directly in front of those who had waited patiently to be allowed inside.
Also on the day of the Committee vote, Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson reached out for a press release being handed to her by a conservative in the crowd. A linebacker-sized Leahy aide grabbed Ms. Hudson by the wrist, wrenching it behind her back so hard she was literally doubled-over. Twisting her arm he demanded she give him the release she was clutching, forcing her into the corridor where the incident was spotted by a Capitol police officer. Ms. Hudson reported the incident to her bureau chief. The bureau chief promptly called Leahy’s press secretary — who denied the incident ever happened. The Director of the Senate Press Gallery would later ask if she wanted to file charges of assault. A reporter to the core, she declined.
SO LET’S SAY YOU’RE Monica Goodling, what would you do? Answer a call to testify from a controlling committee chairman whose reign resembles more the psychology of a lynch mob than a Senate committee? Respond voluntarily to a chairman whose record has already included turning over the Judiciary Committee’s internal investigative and questioning process to high-powered special interest groups — one of which received its funding from powerful billionaire? Whose staff tells deliberate untruths to witnesses while resulting to thuggery in the very committee room supposedly devoted to defending justice? Would you trust in the impartiality of a chairman who allows unfettered access to the committee’s private chambers to a powerful lobbyist? Or a chairman who relies on “independent ethics experts” who have themselves, at the request of that chairman and his Democratic colleagues, exhibited behavior that shows a stunning conflict of interest? What exactly does one do when she has every reason to believe the integrity of the Judiciary Committee has been compromised — by the chairman?
While the incidents above only scratch the surface in terms of uncovering Leahy’s abuses of the committee process, Monica Goodling’s refusal to cooperate with the sham that is Leahy’s Judiciary Committee raises new questions that have yet to be asked:
Should Patrick Leahy himself be under oath? Who in the Senate does oversight of those charged with oversight when there has been a documented abuse and corruption of process by the committee chairman and some of his colleagues?
Is it really Monica Goodling who needs to take the Fifth to protect herself against self-incrimination?
Or is it Patrick Leahy?
Jeffrey Lord is the author of The Borking Rebellion. A former Reagan White House political director, he writes from Pennsylvania where he is the president and CEO of QubeTV, an online conservative video company.
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