Testimony Subpoenaed in Turkish Lobby & Congressional Campaign Case

free sibel edmondsBy Sibel Edmonds

“Sibel’s just been subpoenaed for a deposition in an election court case involving Jean Schmidt (R-OH). This will be a major test of Obama’s justice department to see if they will throw the State Secrets privilege to gag her again, or if they will let this case proceed and let her be on record in a court case for the first time since she’s been gagged. This could be huge, folks!” ~ Cascadiance

Breaking News:

Last week I received a request to provide my sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in a case pending before the Ohio Elections Commission, Schmidt v. Krikorian.

Here are a few excerpts by politico on the case:

“Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), a two-term congresswoman, has filed a formal complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission contending that David Krikorian, who ran against her in 2008 as an independent but is challenging her again in 2010 as a Democrat, slandered her in the closing weeks of last year’s campaign. At issue is a hard-hitting flier Krikorian distributed, accusing Schmidt of taking campaign cash — “blood money,” as he declared in the leaflet — from Turkish interests in exchange for her opposition to recognizing the World War I-era deaths of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman government in Turkey.”

”Schmidt, for her part, has become something of a hero to the Turkish-American community. The co-chairwoman of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, Schmidt has taken more than $10,000 from the Turkish Coalition USA Political Action Committee over the past several years — making it one of her top campaign contributors. The Turkish Coalition of America, an organization that opposes genocide recognition, sponsored a Schmidt trip to Turkey over the Memorial Day recess which cost more than $10,000, according to LegiStorm, a congressional watchdog website.”

”Krikorian — who has regularly blasted Schmidt on a host of other issues — argues that with that stream of funding, Schmidt has become beholden to a Turkish lobby that now views Schmidt as one of its top champions in Congress. “It looks like Turkish interests have focused in on a particular representative,” said Krikorian. “They’ve found a taker in Rep. Schmidt.””

On Monday, August 3, I submitted my sealed unsigned declaration to the Attorney General’s Office at the Department of Justice. The government was given until the end of the day to respond, however, we received no response. My attorneys then gave the government another chance to respond, requesting their response in writing by noon today. Again, we received no official response. Later, DOJ attorneys asserted that the Attorney General’s Office at the Justice Department had either lost or could not locate the confidential sealed affidavit and the accompanying letter!!!

After the second deadline expired I provided my signed declaration to the attorneys for Mr. Krikorian. They are also subpoenaing my deposition, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 8, at 10:30 a.m., in Washington DC.

My sworn declaration includes information in the following areas:

How certain Turkish entities had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government agencies and officials, including but not limited to the Department of State, the Department of Defense and individual members of the United States Congress.

How certain Turkish American cultural and business lobby groups conduct their illegal operations with direct and indirect support from the foreign governments.

Here is the press release by my attorneys’, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto:

National Whistleblowers Center  [1]Stephen M. Kohn (202) 342-6980Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

Sibel Edmonds Requests Attorney General Review the Invocation of State Secrets Privilege

Edmonds to Testify in Ohio Case Unless Attorney General Re-Invokes the Privilege

WASHINGTON – August 4 – Attorneys for FBI whistleblower Sibel D. Edmonds have requested that Attorney General Holder review the state secrets privilege invoked in her case and reverse the decision made under former President Bush. A copy of the letter can be found here [2].

Ms. Edmonds was illegally fired from the FBI due to her protected disclosures. An independent investigation by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General confirmed the serious misconduct committed by the FBI and the illegality of her termination. On or about October 18, 2002, the previous administration invoked the state secrets privilege in order to have Ms. Edmonds’s whistleblower/First Amendment claims dismissed and to protect the government from embarrassment.

Ms. Edmonds has now been requested to provide sworn deposition and affidavit testimony in a case pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in the Schmidt v. Krikorian [3] case. This case raises nationally significant issues of electoral fraud and violation of law. The state secrets privilege has stifled Ms. Edmonds for the past seven years, and this deposition will be the first time that she will put her knowledge on the record.

Given the pendency of this case and the request for her testimony, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense and Education Fund requested that the Attorney General immediately and independently review the basis upon which that privilege was initially invoked, and formally and in writing withdraw that privilege. At the time of this release, two separate deadlines for the Department of Justice to respond to the attorney’s letter had passed, and consequently the deposition has been scheduled for Saturday. Although a request was hand delivered to the Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s office informed counsel that they were having difficulty locating it. According to Stephen M. Kohn, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center and one of Ms. Edmonds’s attorneys, “The Obama administration must take a fresh look at how the state secrets privilege was improperly used to hide government misconduct from the public view. The Edmonds case was the first case the ‘privilege’ was invoked, and it must be the first case the ‘privilege’ is revoked. The government’s misguided attempt to cover up wrongdoing by abusing the state secrets privilege to bully a whistleblower must end. Ms. Edmonds has been requested to provide testimony in court. She will do so unless the government again invokes the privilege to quash her First Amendment rights.”

Ms. Edmonds’s deposition is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, at 10:30am. It will be held at the National Whistleblowers Center at 3238 P. St. NW, Washington, DC. The event is open to the press.

3 responses to “Testimony Subpoenaed in Turkish Lobby & Congressional Campaign Case

  1. Might as well post the DU update quoting a DKos story:

    Schmidt v. Krikorian, the GENOCIDE DENIAL TRIAL Featuring Mark Geragos and Sibel Edmonds

    by Ohiobama

    Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 06:38:45 AM PDT

    It’s the most exciting thing to happen in central Ohio since Indians discovered Columbus. Incumbent Republican Congress-entity Jean Schmidt will face Democratic challenger David Krikorian, not at the polls, but in a legal hearing room. The issue: genocide denial and “blood money.” The defense attorney: Mark Geragos of celebrity representation and late-night TV talk show fame. Star witness for the defense: Sibel Edmonds, the FBI whistleblower and recent DKOS sensation.

    All appearing at a hearing of the Ohio Elections Commission on August 13 in Columbus, but Edmonds’s appearance is contingent on Eric Holder lifting the State-Secrets gag order that DOJ has imposed on her.

    No snark. No disco. No foolin around.

    Some details are reported here

    Geragos I guess means the heavy hitters are being brought in on this. Geragos isn’t necessarily pro-Democrat, though arguably he’s helping a fellow Armenian. Some may recall that Geragos was the legal representative for Brent Wilkes in San Diego too earlier, on the opposite side of the fence… He objected in that court case for him being subject to additional security screenings and clearance authorizations. Makes you wonder how that might factor in here, with perhaps the State Secrets privilege being invoked at some point (hopefully not!) by the Holder Justice Department.

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  3. Pingback: Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Jeremy Scahill on Real Time with Bill Maher Tonite « COTO Report

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