CREWing Manny Miranda
CREW, the Soros—funded organization, wants to have it both ways on the sanctity of private emails and web material. Sometimes it is fine to disclose them. Other times not. Sometimes the content of these communications matters, other times the only important question is the process by which they became public. And of course, most of the press and some Republican saps buy into this nonsense.
As attention is focused on CREW's role in the non—sexual / not—pedophilia / non—scandal of Mark Foley, it's worth revisiting that organization's role in the persecution of Manny Miranda, a former Senate Judiciary Committee aide. For once again, as we examine the matter we will see an all too familiar array of characteristics:
close coordination between this 'non partisan' tax—exempt group and the Democratic Party;
the Republicans' characteristically masochistic response to a foolish charge;
CREW's targeting of a minority group member who dared to be a Republican; and
that organization's startlingly varying approach to the sanctity of the emails and internal communications of the opposition.
In November 2003, the Wall Street Journal exposed Democrat documents that revealed a pattern of corrupt practices in obstructing judicial nominees. Within days, however, Democrats and the press commenced a 5 month Capitol Hill frenzy to discover how these documents got to the press. Only 1 out of 5 news articles or other commentary even mentioned the substance of the corrupt memos.
That meat of the scandal, ignored by the press, included Democrtas blocking one nominee because he was Hispanic. Another plot showed a plan to stop judicial confirmations to obtain a favorable result in the Michigan affirmative action case, while others revealed a pattern of using the confirmations process for fund raising and rallying campaign support. Robert Novak commented,
'By a stroke of luck, Republicans had found a trail of e—mail messages by Democrats that exposed a coolly crafted plan to reject President Bush's federal judges. But Democrats managed to turn their own corruption of Senate confirmations into bipartisan outrage over a staffer leaking a senator's sacrosanct communications.[snip]
Manny Miranda one of the two Republican staffers who had found these documents on an openly accessible shared network has said
'only a small amount of these have been made public. The ones made public are the least indicting of the ones I came to see."
These documents have never been made public in full, the Wall Street Journal having published only parts of 15 such messages.
The Senate Sergeant at Arms was asked to and did conduct a full investigation. Democrats were successful in distracting from their own wrongdoing by employing all their weapons, including a willing press and their unofficial agencies like CREW. Even before the Senate investigation was completed, CREW filed an ethics complaint against Miranda with the Bar, which was promptly dismissed.
Masochists of the right
But even as the Democrats working with CREW deflected attention from the substance of the memoranda and their misdeeds, the masochists on the right side of the aisle, guided by who knows what principles except spinelessness, continued to throw their staffers to the wolves.
Republican senators agreed with their opposition that the real scandal was the leak from publicly—accessible source, not the leaked material itself. Robert Novak wrote,
Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, displaying greater indignation than he ever did about filibusters, called himself
"mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch."
Miranda said that he had neither broken the law nor Senate rules by reading the memos. But key Republican Senators did not back him, apparently anticipating this year's similar poppycock that the Geneva Convention Rules ought to apply to jihadis or our own troops will be in peril. Play by the rules you wish the other side would please play by, and maybe they will be nicer to you.
'Regardless of whether any criminal law was broken, the improper access was wrong and unjustifiable,' Sen. Orrin Hatch (R—Utah) said in the spring of last year. 'It will go down as a sad chapter in the Senate.'
Three Republican Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee joined Democratic members in writing to Attorney General Ashcroft demanding an investigation into whether there were any criminal violations in the accessing and leaking of this material. They went so far as to demand the appointment of a special prosecutor with the powers of Patrick Fitzgerald to oversee it.
Unlike, Ambassador Munchausen, whose serial lies were treated as the actions of a 'whistleblower' entitled to legal protection in the words of Patrick Fitzgerald, Manny Miranda was treated as someone who, having accessed and brought to public attention real corruption, was treated as a potential criminal.
Luckily, this time the Attorney General didn't fall for it.
The Democrat documents were obtained because Democrat staff failed to protect them on a Senate shared network. Moreover, the Senate's code of ethics and case law make it clear that Senate—stored documents are not private or confidential and are in the public interest, and staff has a duty to disclose evidence of corruption.
Instead of a special prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York was asked to lead the investigation.
In the Foley matter, by way of contrast, private emails and instant messages, of the kind whose privacy is protected by federal law, were disclosed by various means including CREW and Hill staffers. This was done in the political climate of a coming election. But little attention has been paid on the Hill to how the documents were disclosed and only to their substance, even though in this case, the how and when of the availability of these Foley documents could mean that if there were any substance to the inflated claims about Foley, that Democrats engaged in a conspiracy endangering the welfare of minors.
And CREW ironically is playing a partisan role in both scandals. In the Miranda case they claimed the how was more important than what the leaked material contained (corrupt Senate practices) when it suited the Democrats. This time they claim that what is contained (dubious claims of improper conduct by a single, now removed Congressman) is more important than how the material was obtained. And this time, too, their claim is to the Democrats' advantage .And both times Republican saps fell for the song and dance.
The Miranda investigation still remains officially open, although Mr. Miranda reports to me,
'I have never been contacted after almost three years, which suggests that the Democrats' and CREWS' allegations against me were that irresponsible,,, clearly no laws were broken and any reasonable person could have seen that'.
'CREW filed an ethics complaint against me, that was quickly dismissed. IN THAT complaint (it is online) they made a big deal about the ethics of breaching the confidentiality of correspondence. They also filed various frivolous FOIA requests with requisite press releases to keep the matter in the press.'
As to the apparently corrupt behavior of the Democrats who, among other things, were holding up a judicial nomination only to affect the result of the University of Michigan case in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Miranda adds:
Almost three years ago, the Justice Department confirmed its intention to investigate certain Senators' possible corruption, which I describe in my article "Capitol Shill". Senators Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy, however, have continued to deny Justice access to their papers.
I joined that fraternity of men like Ed Meese, Ted Olson and Karl Rove who have stood under a cloud. Democrats (and the New York Times) accused me of 'hacking' to hide their own negligence and serious misconduct in obstructing the President's judicial nominees. Obviously, Justice long ago satisfied itself that there was no merit to those allegations [against me]. The Bar reached the same conclusion as to basic ethics two years ago, apparently in record time, after some left—wing group filed a frivolous complaint against me. (See my Law Review article for the ethics of 'Memogate.')
Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.