Also, I've been invited to provide a preview of the day on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy radio show this evening at 10:30 p.m. (ET). The show is being guest-hosted this week by "BradBlog" publisher Brad Friedman, a strong advocate of civil liberties vigilance. The conference is shaping up quite well even though it had to be assembled on short notice because of the congressional recess beginning tomorrow and the extremely tight time constraints that entails for relevant speakers. I'll provide a final update later.
(202) 638-0070; (202) 787-8335 (cell)
Major Forum June 26 On Selective DoJ Prosecution To Feature Victims & Advocates On June 26 In DC
WASHINGTON, DC, June 25, 2009 An unprecedented conference June 26 at the National Press Club about misconduct by the U.S. Department of Justice will feature prominent officials as well as victims whose compelling stories were captured by filmmaker John McTiernan in his recent documentary, "The Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove."
The video by Project Save Justice features experts who say that federal prosecutors targeted hundreds of defendants around the nation primarily for political reasons.
The scheduled keynote speaker is U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr (D-MI), whose committee is preparing to interview former White House strategist Karl Rove following a nearly two-year legal battle to force Rove's cooperation. The Committee's majority staff issued a report last year citing evidence of politics in investigations. Elected Democrats were seven times more likely to be investigated than GOP officials, according to a leading study.
Calling for more Congressional oversight and community action across the U.S. Friday will be Charles "Champ" Walker, son of the former Georgia State Sen. Majority Leader Charles Walker. Since 2005 the elder Walker has been serving a 10-year term on corruption charges. Last month, the elder Walker won recusal of his 2005 federal trial judge for appearance of bias.
Retired Chief U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham will discuss at Friday's forum his recent letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder saying that former Alabama Gov. Don. Siegelman's first trial was "unfounded." Investigative reports by Alabama journalist Roger Shuler this week documented further questions about the fairness of Siegelman's second trial.
Law professor and Harper's columnist Scott Horton will present new evidence of scandal involving U.S. attorneys fired during the Bush administrations. Also, he will also suggest why the government's misconduct in the recently dismissed conviction of GOP Sen. Ted Stevens (AK) was political.
Department of Justice leaders have been invited to respond but have not designated a representative. In general, they have maintained that their prosecutions were mostly in compliance with legal standards and ethics.
The victim stories by McTiernan portray a different story, including accounts of orchestrated leaks to the press of damaging information by prosecutors and collusion by friendly judges to secure convictions against designated targets. Among the video subjects speaking at Friday's conference will be former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz, Jr. and Puerto Rico State Senator & Minority Whip Eduardo Bhatia (D), representing former Gov. Anibal Acivedo. Both Diaz and Acivedo were acquitted following highly publicized DoJ corruption investigations that affected the politics of their regions. McTiernan was accused in 2006 of lying to an FBI agent who called his home regarding Hollywood investigator Anthony Pellicano.
"The lid is coming off deep, dark secrets," says John Edward Hurley, a former staff aide to the late White House correspondent Sarah McClendon. "This is an opportunity to learn about some of the nation's most important and controversial recent investigations of official corruption." The McClendon Group, a speaker society, is host for the event. Sponsors include Alliance for Justice, Project Save Justice, OpEdNews, and Velvet Revolution US.
"This conference is vital to acquainting the public with DOJ misconduct," comments Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman, author of the definitive book, "Prosecutorial Misconduct." ##
8:00 a.m. Introduction. John Edward Hurley, President, Sarah McClendon Group
8:10 a.m. National Overview & Agenda for the Day. Andrew Kreig, journalist, author & attorney
Scott Horton, Harper's Columnist, Attorney and Hofstra Visiting Professor of Law
8:30 a.m. View from Congress. U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Chair, House Judiciary Committee, or Committee Counsel Elliot Mintzberg if a vote is occurring
Nan Aron, President, Legal Director, Alliance for Justice, Introduction
9 a.m. View from the Bench. Hon. U.W. Clemon, Shareholder, White, Arnold & Dowd, former Chief U.S. District Judge, Alabama's Northern District (1981-2009)
9:30 a.m. National Plan for Community Action. Charles "Champ" Walker, Jr., business executive and son of imprisoned former George State Sen. Majority Leader Charles Walker, Sr., owner of the Walker Group and Augusta Focus newspaper.
9:45 a.m. Report Card On Legal, Congressional and Media Oversight of the Justice Department. Scott Horton, Harper's Columnist, Attorney and Hofstra Visiting Professor of Law
TBA Representative, U.S. Department of Justice (Invited)
Bruce Fein, author of "Constitutional Peril," and former Reagan Administration Associate General Counsel of the Justice Department and General Counsel of Federal Communications Commission
Bill Yeomans, Legal Director, Alliance for Justice
Cliff Arnebeck, Chair, Legal Affairs Committee, Common Cause Ohio, National Co-Chair, Alliance for Democracy and 2004 Ohio election voting litigation expert
Andrew Kreig, author, attorney and journalist
10:30 a.m. Faces of the Accused. Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver E. Diaz, Jr., acquitted
Puerto Rico State Senator & Minority Whip Eduardo Bhatia (D), representing former Gov. Anibal Acivedo, acquitted
Gail Sistrunk, Executive Director, Project Save Justice (Producers of the video, "Political Prosecutions of Karl Rove")
11 a.m. Forum Adjourns