It Wasn’t Just John Connolly!

Javert 1The Wall Street Journal the bastion of conservative opinion in the United States has taken up the torch for Scooter Libby. In an editorial opinion on Tuesday, April 7, “The Libby Injustice” and in an op-ed “The False Evidence against Scooter Libby” it accuses Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzpatrick of refusing to provide exculpatory evidence to Libby’s lawyers and misleading Judith Miller a reporter for the New York Times in bringing about false testimony that he wanted.

Peter Berkowitz who wrote the op-ed noted that Fitzgerald stated Libby harmed national security by throwing sand in the eyes of federal investigators. Berkowitz went on: “Yet it was Mr. Fitzgerald who threw sand in the eyes of Ms. Miller and the American people, and in the gears of the U.S. legal system. As special counsel he placed his quest for a conviction above the search for truth and the pursuit of justice.”

The editorial opinion however was the one that most reminded me of the John Connolly case. It noted: “The episode also teaches lessons about the methods of modern prosecutors . . . .  Mr. Fitzgerald became a Javert who wanted to get Vice President Dick Cheney for something, and he zeroed in on Mr. Libby . .. as his vehicle. . . . Mr. Fitzgerald twice told Mr. Libby’s lawyer that he would drop all charges against Mr. Libby’s (sic) if the chief of staff turned state’s evidence on Mr. Cheney. Mr. Libby had no evidence to trade, and Mr. Fitzgerald then set out to ruin Mr. Libby.“

I’ve written in my book how I talked to John Connolly (no relation) during his trial which I attended. I knew him professionally having met him a half-dozen times. I was at his trial hoping to find out something on another matter that had bothered me. Sitting in court having spent my career in the business I had the feeling there was another game being played. I sensed the trial was not about Connolly but was about someone else.

I approached Connolly during a recess after much of the evidence had come in. Up to that point we had nodded at each other – at one point he was exiting the head and he thanked me for coming in to support him. I felt bad about that because I was not there for that.

Yet sitting there, watching the cops laugh at John Martorano jokes, hearing how another’s name came up during the trial, I felt compelled to approach him. I said to him something to the effect: “You know John, you don’t have to be here. They don’t want you. They want you to give them something on Billy Bulger.” Billy is Wyshak’s Jean Valjean.

He replied: “I can’t give them anything on him. He is a man of integrity.” He also went on to say they wanted him to give him some other people higher up in the FBI but to do that he’d have to lie, and he couldn’t lie to get himself off the hook.

Like Libby, John Connolly had no evidence to trade and Mr. Wyshak set out to ruin him. The trial was back in 2002. John Connolly was sent to prison. He is still there. One can only wonder whether Mr. Wyshak and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are working feverishly behind the scene to keep him there. His conviction in Florida based on the lies of gangsters was clearly wrong. It has been reversed once by the Florida Appeals Court. It is reviewing it again. The issue is simple. The delay in an opinion is worrisome.

Unfortunately for Connolly he did not play on the national stage, only in Boston. There is no Boston paper that will be in his corner. Quite the opposite, the Boston media still cheers on the performance of Javert. It manufactured a big lie to sell newspapers and books.

One final note. Fitzgerald was appointed special prosecutor by Jim Comey. Fitzgerald is a prosecutor pal of Comey in the DOJ. He is godfather to one of his kids. Comey is now head of the FBI. I’ve written before that it was the DOJ from which Comey rose to head the FBI. It is a bad precedent to have DOJ prosecutors in charge of the FBI since they can compromise its independence to service the DOJ prosecutors vendettas.

10 thoughts on “It Wasn’t Just John Connolly!

  1. Lebanon News
    Apr. 06, 2015 | 06:11 PM (Last Updated: April 06, 2015 | 07:06 PM)
    US court seeks Obama’s views on Beirut barracks bombing judgment

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    Lawrence Hurley| Reuters
    WASHINGTON: The U.S. Supreme Court Monday asked President Barack Obama’s administration to weigh in on an appeal by the Iranian central bank over whether $1.75 billion must be paid to victims of the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.

    In a brief order, the court said it wants to hear the administration’s views on whether the nine justices should hear the appeal filed by Bank Markazi. If the court ultimately declines to take up the case, the money must be turned over to families of the victims.

    The court’s action comes at a delicate time for American-Iranian relations, with the United States and other world powers last week reaching a framework agreement intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

    The Iranian central bank is appealing a July 2014 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the money held by Citibank in New York should be handed over.

    The money, currently held in a trust account, will go toward paying off a $2.65 billion U.S. court judgment that the victims’ families won against Iran in 2007.

    The families accused Iran and Hezbollah of carrying out the attack that killed 241 U.S. servicemen.

    The lawsuit was filed in 2010 after the U.S. Treasury Department uncovered the funds at Citibank, part of Citigroup Inc.

    The case is Bank Markazi v. Peterson, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-770.

  2. The late Robert Novak decried the prosecution of Libby. The investigation was about a leak of Flame’s CIA identity. Early on it was known that Armitage at the State Department was the source of the leak. He was never charged and the prosecutor headed off on his political vendetta. The problem Connolly faced was not only a confused, pernicious, vindictive prosecutor( Wyshak) but judges who were just as dishonest in sentencing him. The crooked Boston judge Tauro gave him ten years for minor offenses and in Florida the judge sentenced him after the Statute had expired, leaving that court without any jurisdiction to do so. Connolly was always the victim of a frame up. The violators of the law were the judges, prosecutors, FBI, DEA and State Cops. The media propagated the fraud. We need a new government and a new media in America. The closer one examines the bogus prosecutions and manufactured crimes of the DOJ the more one realizes that Reagan was correct. The government is not the solution. The government is the problem.

  3. I’d think twice about linking Connolly to the likes of Judith Miller, who is only now recanting her testimony against Cheney errand boy Scooter Libby. She gave false testimony but it wasn’t perjury! Instead, she was somehow tricked and manipulated by the prosecutor into saying things that helped sink Libby. Please. Miller was a player in washington, not an ingenue. What we’re witnessing is her continuing effort to curry favor with conservatives. If you think John Connolly is a standup guy, please keep his name well clear of that of Judith Miller.

    1. Afterthought: I should have added a few kind words about Libby. He was prepared to go to prison without giving up anybody before Bush commuted his sentence. Libby had hoped for a presidential pardon. None was forthcoming. I’ve read that this made Dick Cheney very unhappy, and maybe it did, but Cheney wasn’t on the firing line. He certainly didn’t throw his body in front of the presidential limo in an attempt to stop Bush from leaving the White House without granting his trusted aide a pardon.

      To this day, I don’t know exactly what to make of Judith Miller’s decision to testify against Libby. She’d been in jail for 85 days for refusing to cooperate with Fitzgerald, when it was announced that Libby had given Miller his “permission” to testify. It wasn’t Libby’s permission to give, and I rather suspect that Scooter would have granted Miller his “permission” on day one of her imprisonment. In any case, Libby provided cover for Miller to get out of jail while at the same time allowing her to insist she hadn’t given up her source. (I think this is known as trying to have it both ways.)

      Miller would now have us believe she was somehow pressured or hornswoggled into giving false testimony against Libby. Don’t buy it. Scooter Libby trusted the wrong people. One of them was Judith Miller.

      1. Dan:

        Libby was a stand up guy. Cheney should have done more to help him but I think by the time Bush ended his stay in the White House he and Cheney were not exactly on speaking terms. But I suggest Bush should have gone all the way rather than just commuting his punishment.

        I agree also the Miller is trying to have it both ways. She’s no dunce, had good legal advice, and has a big mouth so she could have spoken up or done some research herself to find out the answers to the questions she now is raising. She liked the idea of standing up for her sources until she realized she had the keys to getting herself out of jail (I’ve seen this before) and she decided to cooperate. She’s now trying to justify it.

        1. Matt: Would be great to hear Libby’s side of the whole story. I was seated next to Miller at a dinner in New York City a few years ago. As it turns out, she’s half-Irish. So we talked a lot about the Emerald Isle. Miller can talk the talk when it comes to Ireland.

  4. Matt:
    Sorry for putting an entire article on your blog, but, I can’t understand why the G would even think about not pressing Iran for that money. There’s some things in this world that can’t be forgiven.

  5. The irony of Matt Connolly’s article on the WSJ article regarding the Cheny-Scooter Libby smear campaign of Ambassador Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame and the comparison to the John Connolly prosecution by Fred Wyshak is there actually is a nexus to Wyshak in both cases. AUSA Theodore Chuang was Wyshak’s co-counsel in one of the Bulger spinoff investigations regarding Teamsters Local 25 President George Cashman and Michael L. Taylor, a FBI-CIA informant and CEO of American International Security Corp, Boston. About December 2002, Taylor and several of the Bulger Case Agents were immunized by Wyshak and Chuang for bribery-extortions in connection with a Teamster strike at Cardinal Health. Taylor was previously implicated for two different rapes in Leominster and Ayer, drug smuggling, fake passports, money laundering, bribes, illegal wiretaps and planting evidence yet protected by Wyshak, former AUSA Paul Kelly, and given over $300K rewards and several commendations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

    Taylor, a former 10th Special Forces-Delta operator from Ft Devens employed a dozen retired and active Boston area federal agents as private investigators, including some of the lead Case Agents investigating Bulger with AUSAs Wyshak, Brian Kelly, Jamie Herbert, Jim Farmer, John Durham and Theo Chuang. Taylor’s partner was Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, the retired CIA Deputy Director who grew up in New Hampshire. Dewey was pardoned by President Reagan for perjury in connection with Iran-Contra. According to a corroborated 2008 news article by the Guardian, Clarridge was identified by Italian intelligence and FBI as one of the forgers of the fake Niger yellow-cake uranium documents that were fed by Cheney’s Office to Secretary of State Colin Powell for presentation to the UN Security Council to justify the fraudulent March 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Apparently, General Powell did not know the Niger docs were fakes. Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson had discredited the forged Niger documents and were then subjected to a VP Cheney smear campaign where Plame was outed as a CIA Officer.

    By 2004, Chuang left the Office and after a brief tenure at WilmerHale, became Deputy Counsel, US House Government Reform Committe and began coordinating investigation of the Valerie Plame incident with Special Counsel Pat Fitzgerald. Dewey was not charged and later his San Diego company Eclipse-Xpand became the Libya licensened security contractor and entered into a Teeming Agreement with Blue Mountain Group-UK/Libya (BMG) for security at the Benghazi Consulate. A few days before the deaths of Ambassador Stevens, Dewey got into a dispute with BMG over money and according to just released State Department email documents, Eclipse terminated BMG, a few hours before the attacks. During mid-2013, Chuang was then DHS Deputy General Counsel and TD’Yed to State Dep’t to coordinate the Benghazi cover-up with Congress. This is supported by government, court and Congressional documents.

    As a footnote, on March 30, 2015, Mike Taylor was sentenced in Utah for a 2007-2012 bribery-$54 million DoD no-show contract fraud case with LTC David Young and a separate bribery-for informant/immunity protection scam with FBI agent Bob Lustyik aided by several of the Bulger agents who were immunized by Wyshak-Chuang. See US v Young/Taylor/Lustyik, US Dist Ct of Utah, Crim Nos. 12-cr-502-TC and 12-cr-645-TC. Taylor only got a 2 year sentence for “cooperating” against agent Lustyik (10 yrs), the guy trying to help Taylor help derail the Utah investigation against him. As a reward for their lying, cover-ups, and rigging cases, Chuang was recently nominated as a federal judge in Maryland and Wyshak promoted to Chief of the Public Corruption Unit.

    1. Bruce:

      Good information. it deserves a lot of follow-up but goes along with the theory that the feds are implicit in condoning criminal acts of people they get to cooperate with them.

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