Ohio Attorney Files Motion to Lift Stay in Ohio Case of King Lincoln Bronzeville v Blackwell
At a press conference this morning in Columbus, Ohio, Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case of King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell, announced that he is filing a motion to "lift the stay in the case [and] proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election."
Arnebeck will also "be providing copies of document hold notices to the U.S .Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and the U.S. Justice Department for Karl Rove emails from the White House."
This case has the potential to put some of the most powerful people in the country in jail, according to Arnebeck, as he was joined by a well-respected, life-long Republican computer security expert who charged that the red flags seen during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election would have been cause for "a fraud investigation in a bank, but it doesn't when it comes to our vote."
"This entire system is being programmed in secret by programmers who have no oversight by anybody," the expert charged, as Arnebeck detailed allegations of complicity by a number of powerful GOP operatives and companies who had unique access both to the election results as reported in 2004, as well as to U.S. House and Senate computer networks even today.
The presser was attended by some of the corporate-controlled media, including the head of the Ohio AP bureau, the Columbus Dispatch, and IndyMedia. Listening in by phone were ABC News, our friends from RAW STORY, and me, your humble blogger. I recorded the presser, so I have no links for the quotes in this post, but I transcribed them word-for-word and can vouch for their accuracy.
One of the more delightful and interesting quotes comes from Arnebeck, concerning what he expects to discover as the stay is lifted: "[W]e anticipate Mr. Rove will be identified as having engaged in a corrupt, ongoing pattern of corrupt activities specifically affecting the situation here in Ohio."
According to Arnebeck, his expert witness, Stephen Spoonamore, "works for credit card companies chasing data thieves, identity thieves around the globe, and also consults with government agencies including the Secret Service, the Pentagon, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in criminal matters. [He's] really one of the top, and in fact the top private cop in the world on the subject of data security.
"First, some background. The King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case was filed on August 31, 2006. At issue was "whether the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to Plaintiffs by the Civil Rights Act, and the First, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution have been violated by the past and ongoing conduct of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in connection with past elections in Ohio."
A stay was previously entered into on joint motion of the parties, Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and the plaintiffs, to support settlement discussions in the case. "At one point," Arnebeck noted this morning, "this was interrupted when the Secretary wanted to bring all the ballots that had been ordered preserved by Judge Marbley, bring them in to one location. When the ballots came in, there was significant omissions and reports of the destruction of some of the ballots."
The BRAD BLOG reporter previously on some of some of the ballots missing from 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, despite the federal court order.
Arnebeck explained that part of the reason for the stay, at the time, was to allow the Ohio Attorney General to proceed first, as provided in Ohio House Bill 3 which states, in part:
...the attorney general may initiate criminal proceedings for election fraud under section 3599.42 of the Revised Code which results from a violation of any provision of Title XXXV of the Revised Code, other than Chapter 3517. of the Revised Code, involving voting, an initiative or referendum petition process, or the conducting of an election, by presenting evidence of criminal violations in question to the prosecuting attorney of any county in which the violations may be prosecuted. If the prosecuting attorney does not prosecute the violations within a reasonable time or requests the attorney general to do so, the attorney general may proceed with the prosecution of the violations with all of the rights, privileges, and powers conferred by law on a prosecuting attorney, including, but not limited to, the power to appear before a grand jury and to interrogate witnesses before a grand jury.
Arnebeck said that the Attorney General's office said they were ready to begin the investigation of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, and Arnebeck said he submitted a great deal of material to them, including "Bob's [Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman's] book on what happened in Ohio, documentation of the exit poll discrepancy, [and] John Conyers' report to the Congress which was the factual basis for the challenge to the electoral votes of the Ohio vote in January of 2005."
About a month later, the Attorney General's office contacted Arnebeck and asked him, "Who do you want to indict?"
Arnebeck explained that the AG's "concept of looking at this from a criminal standpoint was not to convene a grand jury and cast the net broadly and use the grand jury process to investigate and narrow the focus into the question of who may have tampered with those votes. But rather they wanted us to come to them with a more focused case."