In my post below, I mentioned that if a "smoking gun" document appears linking Fred Thompson to lobbying work for the abortion rights group (such as billing records), it could raise honesty questions about Thompson given that his campaign has steadfastly denied it. The flip side, of course, is that the story could be proven completely bogus, in which case it would be a huge coup for Thompson by rallying conservatives on his behalf against the mainstream media.
Captain's Quarters has led the charge in trying to debunk the story. Ed points out that Thompson wasn't registered as a foreign lobbyist with his firm until October 1991, which was a month after the meeting minutes in the LA Times story, which as I noted represented a bit of documentary evidence that contradicts Thompson's account. Is this significant, or is it possible that there was a lag time between when he began to do domestic lobbying and when he was registered as a foreign lobbyist?
Jim Geraghty, meanwhile, points out that the LA Times story has been altered without any explanation to remove a reference to a 1991 meeting in which Judith DeSarno, the head of the abortion rights group in question and Thompson's primary accuser, recalled that "Thompson re-enacted a cowboy death scene from one of his movies." He hadn't been in a cowboy movie by 1991. That is pretty damaging to the credibility of the Times story.
It's pretty clear that somebody is not telling the truth here, and now the onus is on the Times to provide harder evidence.
UPDATE: It appears that Fred Thompson actually joined Arent Fox as of April 1991. An April 17, 1991 Washington Post story, accessed via Nexis, begins:
Fred Thompson, the former minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, who in recent years has become a familiar face on the big screen in some blockbuster movies, is making a more permanent connection here. The Tennessee lawyer, who headed his own firm in Nashville and came here on an infrequent basis, has joined Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, the Washington firm with which his close friend John Culver, the former senator, is also affiliated.
So, this means that Thompson was at the firm in Sept. 1991 and could have theoretically lobbyied for the abortion rights group during the time period mentioned in the LA Times story. This still doesn't explain why the LA Times removed the cowboy movie reference.
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