The Schmidt v. Krikorian hearing is continuing today before the Ohio Election Commission. This is the case which resulted in FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' stunning sworn deposition in early August, and in "high drama" on the first day of proceedings early last month.
I'll be off the grid for much of today, so allow me to refer to today's live tweeting by Cincinnati Enquirer's Jon Craig, and to Geoffrey "Ohiobama" Sea's live blogging over at Daily Kos. Both come straight from the courtroom as the, apparently equally contentious, second day continues.
There was discussion, after the first day ended last month, of Edmonds testifying in person; she is not currently scheduled to do so, though Krikorian says her deposition transcript and video will be submitted nonetheless. And as Craig's tweets suggest, this thing may go to a third day, in any case.
More later as I'm able to get back and pay attention. For more background on the case for now, see the stories in our Jean Schmidt category...
UPDATE 10/2/09: Here's an excellent, if Armenian-leaning summary/report on the case by Peter Musurlian of Horizon TV, following the September 3rd hearing (in advance of the second day continuation yesterday), including some shoving in the elevator outside the hearing room, for which the filmmaker is said to be considering a lawsuit, a "screw you" comment from Schmidt's Chief of Staff, Barry Bennet, and some forgetful testimony from Schmidt who had twice been found in "reckless disregard for the truth" by the same commission, for having lied about receiving a second college degree:
FURTHER UPDATE 10/2/09: The decisions of the Ohio Election commission are now in, including the decision to allow portions of Edmonds' sworn deposition to be submitted into evidence in the hearing. These are the final updates from Sea's live blogging at dKos yesterday from within the hearing room (his earlier updates are also well worth the read, as it sounds like it was quite a day in that room!)...
I am surprised no TV stations are here, even local news. Geragos vs. Fein. High drama at the otherwise sleepy Ohio Elections Commission.
...though Craig notes AP and other local media are there.
UPDATE 1:46pm PT: Also, Geoffrey Sea, is live blogging the hearing as "Ohiobama" at dKos. An early report of his, on attorney Mark Geragos' defense of Krikorian who is facing "false statements" charges alleged by Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2nd) after he'd claimed last year she accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests:
He then presented a strong positive defense of Krikorian's efforts in the 2008 campaign: "Krikorian is exposing the truth of a congresswoman who is bought and paid for by the Turkish lobby." Wow.
...and in a later update, with Schmidt on the stand, Sea notes:
UPDATE 19: Schmidt admits to two fundraisers for her thrown by the Turkish lobby, at which $10,000 and $15,000 were raised respectively. She "does not recall" any conversation at either of those fundraisers. Great Reagan impression, Congresswoman! She also does not remember the discussion that led to her joining the Congressional Turkish-American Caucus.
UPDATE 3:02pm PT: As hearing was running very long, Krikorian team asked for a continuance to another day. Craig tweets "Hearing is being continued to Oct. 1."
Well, well. As The BRAD BLOG reported previously, Sibel Edmonds will be back in the country by then, and likely able to testify LIVE on the stand, if the Commission allows it. Krikorian wanted her to do so originally --- and she was willing to do so as well --- but she was gone, and the Commission refused to extend original hearing date. Now, this could get very interesting...
UPDATE 7:16pm PT: In response to an email query about testifying in the case, if called, Edmonds wrote back to us tonight:
1- If I'm asked I will certainly testify.
2- I will suggest that Krikorian party depose the FBI agents who have first hand knowledge of the relevant matters. I know these agents, and I know they will tell the truth under oath. In fact, they may be glad to finally find an outlet for the truth and what's been covered up for many years. They pursued these cases avidly, seeking criminal indictment (justice) for the involved treasonous US officials...
ALSO: Jon Craig's full coverage of today's hearings, for tomorrow's Cincinnati Enquirer, is now published here... (And he even dares to use the words "Sibel Edmonds" in the article! Shocking.)
It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called "state secrets privilege" in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.
The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.
Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds' startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.
Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General's report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson's death was ruled a homicide. And, it's true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being made here. Still, given the serious national security issues at stake, said to have the been among the most important matters of the past 8 years, one would think someone in the corporate MSM might have taken the time to go through the material, and report on it. Particularly as Edmonds' claims have previously been found "credible" "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review," by the DoJ Inspector General, and confirmed as such, on several occasions, by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and many many others.
So for the benefit of the U.S. media, and other readers, who may find it helpful for this large body of newly-available information to be culled down into more digestible pieces, I will attempt to break down the deposition, a bit, into some of its subject matter-based component parts. I will try to go through the major disclosures from the deposition, one-by-one, in a series of pieces which might help others to further report and/or investigate these breathtaking disclosures from a former FBI official who, following 9/11, listened to and translated wiretap recordings made from 1996 through 2002, in the FBI's counterintelligence and counterterrorism departments, under top-secret clearance.
In this first break-down article, we'll look at the answers given by Edmonds during her deposition in regard to bribery and blackmail of current and former members of the U.S. Congress, including Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased) and an unnamed, currently-serving, married Democratic Congresswoman said to have been video-taped in a Lesbian affair by Turkish agents for blackmail purposes.
In further breakdown articles, we'll look at her disclosures concerning top State and Defense Department officials including Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, the former Deputy Undersecretary of State, Marc Grossman, the third-highest ranking official in the State Department. Also, details on the theft of nuclear weapons technology; disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA front company Brewster-Jennings; items related to U.S. knowledge of 9/11 and al-Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001; infiltration of the FBI translation department and more...
A couple of quick updates, and a few notable developments in the status of the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) case between the Republican 2nd-District U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt and her independent '08 (and now, Democratic '10 ) challenger David Krikorian.
This is the case which resulted in the recent stunning deposition of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, as Schmidt has alleged "false statements" by Krikorian when he claimed that she accepted "blood money" from the Turkish Lobby in exchange for opposing a Congressional vote on the "Armenian Genocide" resolution. He says her campaign received more money from that lobby than any other member last year, after which she became the co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Coalition. That, despite the paucity of any actual ethnic Turks in her district.
Krikorian offered a few interesting status updates on the case to The BRAD BLOG, late last week during a phone conversation...
Just over two weeks ago, FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was finally allowed to speak about much of what the Bush Administration spent years trying to keep her from discussing publicly on the record. Twice gagged by the Bush Dept. of Justice's invocation of the so-called "State Secrets Privilege," Edmonds has been attempting to tell her story, about the crimes she became aware of while working for the FBI, for years.
Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition. Both the complete video tape and transcript of the deposition follow below.
Though there was much concern, prior to her testimony, that the Obama Dept. of Justice might re-invoke the "State Secrets Privilege" to keep her from speaking, they did not do so. Nor did they choose to be present at the Washington D.C. deposition.
The BRAD BLOG covered details of some of Edmonds' startling disclosures made during the deposition, as it happened, in our live blog coverage from August 8th. The deposition included criminal allegations against specifically named members of Congress. Among those named by Edmonds as part of a broad criminal conspiracy: Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), Tom Lantos (D-CA), as well as an unnamed, still-serving Congresswoman (D) said to have been secretly videotaped, for blackmail purposes, during a lesbian affair.
High-ranking officials from the Bush Administration named in her testimony, as part of the criminal conspiracy on behalf of agents of the Government of Turkey, include Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Marc Grossman, and others.
During the deposition --- which we are still going through ourselves --- Edmonds discusses covert "activities" by Turkish entities "that would involve trying to obtain very sensitive, classified, highly classified U.S. intelligence information, weapons technology information, classified Congressional records...recruiting key U.S. individuals with access to highly sensitive information, blackmailing, bribery."
Speaking about current members of Congress during a break in the testimony, Krikorian told The BRAD BLOG that "for people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence." (More video statements from Krikorian, Edmonds and attorneys from all parties, taped before, during, and after the 8/8/09 testimony, are available here.)
Edmonds' on-the-record disclosures also include bombshell details concerning outed covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings. Edmonds alleges the front company had actually been shut down in August of 2001 --- three years prior to Bob Novak's public disclosure of the covert operative's identity --- following a tip-off to a wire-tap target about the true nature of the CIA front company. The cover was blown, Edmonds alleges, by Marc Grossman, who was, at the time, the third highest-ranking official in the U.S. State Department. Prior to that, Grossman served as ambassador to Turkey. He now works "for a Turkish company called Ihals Holding," according to Edmonds' testimony.
An unclassified FBI Inspector General's report, released on her case in 2005, declared Edmonds' classified allegations to be "credible," "serious," and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI." In 2002, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), then the senior members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote letters on Edmonds' behalf to Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and DoJ Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, calling on all of them to take action in respect to her allegations. And in a 2002 60 Minutes report on Edmonds' case, Grassley noted: "Absolutely, she's credible...And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story."
The 8/8/09 deposition was brought by Krikorian as part of his defense in a case filed against him before the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). The 2nd district Congresswoman has accused Krikorian, an Armenian-American who ran against her as an independent in 2008, of "false statements" during the campaign last year alleging that she had accepted "blood money" from Turkish interests. Krikorian says that Schmidt, co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Committee, accepted more money from Turkish interests during last year's campaign than any other member of Congress, despite few, if any, ethnic Turks among her local constituency. He has suggested she may have been instrumental in helping to hold off a Congressional vote on a long-proposed, much-disputed resolution declaring the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a "genocide" by the Turks.
Edmonds herself happens to be a Turkish-American, though she was recently attacked by the Turkish Lobby, following her long-sought, long-blocked testimony.
The complete transcript of Sibel Edmonds' under-oath testimony, may now be downloaded here [PDF]. The complete video-taped testimony follows, in five parts, below...
Claiming that Ohio's Republican U.S. House Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-2nd) is "conced[ing] that she does deny the Armenian Genocide," the campaign of her Democratic challenger David Krikorian has just issued a press release (posted in full below), stating that Schmidt has dropped four of her "false statements" complaints against him in her Ohio Election Commission (OEC) case, while petitioning the court to add a new claim in the bargain.
The news comes on the heels of last Saturday's deposition by the FBI's former Turkish-American translator Sibel Edmonds who had been subpoenaed last week to testify in the case. The whistleblower had been previous-gagged by two different assertions of the "state secrets" privilege during the Bush Administration. She was finally able to testify on Saturday, under oath, about alleged infiltration, bribery, and blackmail by Turkish agents, of current and former members of the U.S. Congress and other high ranking officials in the Departments of State and Defense. The BRAD BLOG covered the stunning deposition as it happened last Saturday.
Schmidt had challenged Krikorian's claim, during his 2008 independent campaign against her, that she accepted "blood money" from Turkish agents in exchange for helping to block a Congressional resolution recognizing the 1915 killing of some 1.5 million ethnic Armenians as a genocide....
Called as a witness for David Krikorian (who is Armenian-American), Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH)'s opponent in 2008 and 2010, Edmonds (who is Turkish-American) testified to infiltration, bribery, corruption, and blackmail within the U.S. Government, by current and former members of the U.S. House and other high ranking officials, on behalf of Turkish interests. Schmidt, the co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus has filed a complaint with the OEC alleging "false statements" by Krikorian during their 2008 contest when he had alleged she had taken "blood money" from those opposed to a Congressional declaration of Armenian Genocide by the Turks during WWI. Schmidt is also said to have taken more money from Turkish interests during the 2008 campaign than any other House candidate.
The TCA seems to have "declared war," according to Edmonds who touched base from out of the country via email on Wednesday. The scathing blog post alleges Edmonds' testimony was "a full-on assault against the national interests of the United States and the integrity of its justice system by the Armenian lobby"; says "Krikorian and his lobbyist backers are getting desperate"; and otherwise attempts to disparage Edmonds' character by describing her as "self-aggrandizing," and a "disgruntled and discredited former federal employee."
The report offers no evidence to support any of its allegations against Krikorian, Edmonds or "the Armenian Lobby." Many of the claims, particularly those concerning Edmonds, are directly contradicted by official reports from the FBI Inspector General's office, as well as senior, bi-partisan members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee...
As we continue to wait for the release of the video/transcript of long-gagged FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' deposition last Saturday, the campaign of David Krikorian, Ohio's Democratic candidate for the U.S. House seat in the 2nd Congressional district, has just issued a press release relating to it. (Complete release posted below.)
In the statement, they re-iterate some of the information which The BRAD BLOG covered during our live-blogging of the event over the weekend, including Edmonds' allegations under oath that "the Turkish Lobby in the United States was under the direction of the Turkish Government and engaged in operations including bribery, espionage and blackmail with certain members of the US House of Representatives to further its objectives in the United States including one of which is the denial of the Armenian Genocide."
Some of those current and former House reps, such as Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Dan Burton (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), and Stephen Solarz (D-NY), were said to have been specifically named during the 5-hour-long deposition. One female Representative, said to be a Democrat and still serving in the House, was described, but not named, as having been "hooked" by Turkish agents into participating in a lesbian affair which is said to have been videotaped for potential blackmail use against the sitting Congresswoman....
Thanks to VelvetRevolution.us [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder], here are some of the greatly condensed highlights from outside the National Whistleblowers Center on Saturday in D.C., as FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds gave her long-awaited under-oath deposition.
Long gagged under the "state secrets" privilege by the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration's DoJ chose not to re-invoke privilege, paving the way for this information to finally make its way on to the unclassified public record.
Selected public commentary from the attorneys, candidate David Krikorian, and Edmonds, taken before, during breaks, and after the testimony follows. For many many more details, quotes and information about the information disclosed at the deposition, see our Live-Blog coverage from Saturday here...
(The video of the deposition itself is still forthcoming. Monday earliest, so we're told, but no way of knowing anything for sure until it's actually made available. There's some 5 or 6 hours of tape, as we understand it. We hope the text transcript of the entire deposition will also be made available to the public soon as well. Edmonds has stated that she too shares both of those hopes. Until then, however, please do review our coverage from yesterday, for the complete, stunning details of what went on yesterday.)
UPDATE 8/10/09, 3:45am PT: Erik Larson, who was also among the independent media outside the NWC on Saturday, has additional coverage and lengthier video clips here...
UPDATE 8/10/09, 2:11pm PT: Quick update on current release status of deposition video/transcript now here...
8:00am PT (11:00am ET): The deposition has now begun inside the National Whisteblowers Center, and has not, apparently, been blocked by an assertion of the "state secrets" privilege by the DoJ.
The BRAD BLOG has some folks covering outside the testimony this morning, and I just spoke to some of the folks on the ground outside the NWC, just before the deposition was set to begin, including David Krikorian, who flew in last night from Ohio.
Krikorian said that he hadn't yet seen anybody from the DoJ there, and both he and Edmonds confirmed that there hadn't been any new action (that they knew about) since the late-night legal back and forth between the DoJ and OEC on Friday night. Though Krikorian added that he "wouldn't be surprised" if someone from DoJ showed up. We'll find out later today if they did.
He said his team intended to ask detailed questions on the three major points they'd described in their press release [PDF] issued earlier this week, focusing on whether and how "The Government of Turkey had illegally infiltrated and influenced various U.S. government institutions and officials, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and individual members of the United States Congress."
Krikorian did not seem dissuaded by the FBI's and then the DoJ's attempts to block Edmonds' testimony, and that they intended to be thorough in their deposition. "That's pretty much the whole point of this exercise," he told me.
Schmidt (R-OH)'s attorney is Bruce Fein, the one-time Assoc. Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration who has, over the past several years, become a fierce critic of the George W. Bush Administration. He believed the deposition would not take long, though Krikorian's people may have a differing opinion there.
There are apparently a handful of mostly independent and foreign media outlets present outside the NWC. No corporate MSM, from the reports I've gotten. Independent TV/media, an Armenian English language weekly, and press attache representatives of some foreign governments are among those present.
8:40am PT (11:40am ET): During a break, Edmonds and the attorneys stepped outside.
DoJ still a no-show, so the questioning has proceeded, and Edmonds has been able to say "everything that she hasn't been able to say so far, implicating many members of Congress in a criminal conspiracy," according to interviews with Fein and others.
Edmonds' attorney, Michael Kohn said: "The Justice Department decided not to show. Therefore, the deposition has gone much more smoothly than we had anticipated."
Edmonds told me in a brief phone conversation during the break: "Bruce Fein is raising objections to everything," though that's to be expected. She said she's been asked, and has answered, questions on Dan Burton (R-IN), Dennis Hastert (R-IL) (who is now a lobbyist for Turkey), and Stephen Solarz (D-NY), as well as other questions on those high-ranking officials and lobbyists in her "State Secrets Gallery."
She added that "somebody said the FBI was given the wrong time, for 11:30 instead of 10:30," though she didn't see how that could be, given that the time for the start of the deposition has been well publicized. In any case, it's now 11:45am ET, so we'll see if they showed up during this break. They have now gone back into session...
9:41am PT (12:41pm ET): Another break...Edmonds still being questioned under direct. Fein believes his cross-examination will last two hours or so once he begins. They are now breaking for lunch. DoJ/FBI still have not shown up.
The deposition is being videotaped and Edmonds hopes that it can be released as soon as possible after the deposition, though there have been some objections about releasing the video tape...
10:09am PT (1:09pm ET): Wow... just had lengthy conversation with Krikorian about Edmonds' testimony. Just wow... coming momentarily...
Spoke to Edmonds, who says she's "tired, gotta put some sugar into her system," but that she's satisfied with what's being put on the record so far. "Things we have never discussed outside before."
A lengthy conversation then, with Krikorian, may give you some idea of what she's referring to.
Here's Krikorian, directly quoted. Hang on to your seats...
From my opinion, if I'm some of the current members of Congress, I'd be very very worried about the information that's going to come out of this. There are current members of Congress that she has implicated in bribery, espionage. It's not good. It's crazy, it's absolutely crazy. For people in power situations in the United States, who know about this information, if they don't take action against it, in my opinion, it's negligence.
[Which current members have been implicated?]
[Dan] Burton (R-IN), described as basically accepting bribes and involved in espionage for the Turkish government...she could not discuss the extremely illegal activities that Mr. Burton committed against U.S. interests, as she put it.
Also, a current female Democratic [ed note: I misheard, he later said he didn't know if she was Dem or Rep] member of Congress who has been blackmailed by the Turkish Government...called a 'hooking exercise'...she's apparently bi-sexual and they bugged her apartment, she's married with children, and they set up a relationship with another female who went in and had sexual relationships with her. And they had all the episodes bugged within this current Representative's home and they blackmailed her. ... She wouldn't give her name, but her photograph [is the one with the question mark on it in the "Sibel Edmonds Rogue Gallery." ]
The context of the discussion was that this particular Representative was amenable to passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. And then based on this 'hooking' operation, changed her position. She was reluctant to put this person's name on record.
[CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION FROM EDMONDS, 4:26pm PT (7:26pm ET): After reviewing our coverage, Edmonds clarifies that she did not discuss the specific voting record of the Congresswoman in question discussed above, because she didn't, and still doesn't, know her record on that particular issue. As Krikorian's quote above may have been inadvertently misleading on that point, she wanted to correct that record. - BF]
[Other people implicated included] Livingston (R-TX LA), Hastert (R-IL), Dick Gephardt (D-MO), other non-Congressional members, people like Brent Scowcroft, other appointed members of the U.S. government.
One of the reasons we sought her testimony is especially for these reasons. I can tell you that counsel for Schmidt has been objecting to much of the testimony. I stopped counting the number of objections that were raised. But, she's an extremely credible witness, she knows a lot about what happened. She's implicated Turkish organizations operating in the U.S. with both overt and covert operations.
[Q: Which ones?]
ATC, ATAA, TACA...She talked about how she was recruited to join these operations, she talked about the fact that the Inspector General's report exonerated her, she talked about the circumstances around her dismissal, she talked about the fact that these Turkish American operations were, she said in her words, 'all receiving support from the Turkish government.'
She talks about one of the main lobby issues is suppressing U.S. media coverage of the Armenian Genocide and preventing the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress from passing. She said very very strongly that is one of their major issues.
She also attested there is no credible opposition to the historical facts of the Armenian genocide, that it's only coming from Turkey.
[Ed note: Edmonds was raised in Turkey, though is a U.S. citizen. Krikorian is of Armenian descent. Schmidt is neither, but she is co-chair of the Congressional Turkish Caucus.]
Did not have very flattering things to say about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. ... Actually, I stopped taking notes because I was o fascinated by what she was saying. ... She talked about the Rand Corp., Brewster-Jennings, nuclear secrets...
Frankly it's disappointing that things like this are happening in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Is it a huge surprise? No. Should it be tolerated? Absolutely not. I can't imagine George Washington and Thomas Jefferson allowing this sort of thing to go on in the Republic that they created. I cannot imagine it.
We're talking about High Crimes against the United States government. If the Government is aware of these High Crimes and doesn't prosecute them, I'm not sure what can be said about this.
[Q: Do you predict problems with Democrats whose support you will need when running against Schmidt as a Dem in 2010?]
Problem with Democrats...?
Well, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Solarz are no longer Representatives of the U.S. House of Representatives. I think it would be extremely naive and the height of folly for the Democratic leadership to suggest for a moment that Democrats aren't also corrupt. I don't mean as an entirety, but that there aren't corrupt members of the Democrat caucus. I think there was a recent Democrat down south somewhere who was found with thirty thousand dollars cash in his freezer, or whatever.
If Democratic National Committee or the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Comm.] came out and said, 'hey, we're entirely clean and there's no fault on us,' I think the American public would laugh at them. So, this is not an indictment of one party or the other. This is about standing up for what's right for the country, and what is right for the citizens of our country.
Again, I ran as an independent last time [in 2008]. I'm running as a Democrat [in 2010] because I think right now they're probably the better of the two parties. But nevertheless, I don't necessarily buy into the fact that they're without blood on their hands...
[Q: Did she implicate any sitting Democrats?]
She did not indicate any names of any currently serving Democrats that I'm aware. [Though he wasn't certain if the unnamed female Representative was either Democratic or Republican.]
Krikorian went on to say that he expects to release the video of the deposition, which, along with the transcript, is the property of his legal team. says "There will be...This could be a 10 part YouTube video segment, that we'll put out there."
He doesn't yet know when a transcript will be available.
The cross-examination of Edmonds, by Schmidt's attorney Fein, is still in progress...
12:24pm PT (3:24pm ET) Apparently the proceedings are now wrapping up. It's believed that Edmonds and Krikorian and the attorneys will speak to whatever media are outside the NWC. Will cover...
12:56pm (3:56pm ET)Okay, I believe this will be the final update. But it will end with a BANG. Big time...Read to the end...really...
The attorneys and Krikorian and Edmonds all had a media avail after the deposition completed.
Bruce Fein, the attorney for Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) --- who began all of this with her complaint at the Ohio Election Commission against David Krikorian, claiming he made "false statements" by alleging she took "blood money" from Turkish interests to suppress a vote in the U.S. House on the Armenian Genocide resolution --- was confronted by a reporter with Armenian TV who asked if it wasn't the "cornerstone of free speech" for candidates to talk about freely about these matters.
Fein became very defensive, said that Krikorian "can say whatever he wants about the Armenian Genocide, but what he's not allowed to do is state lies. We don't want to close anybody's mouth when it comes to taking about the Armenian Genocide...What we're trying to do is promote freedom of speech. Some versions are trying to harass individuals who are trying to dispute history."
The reporter, Elizabeth Chouldjian, freelancing coverage today for Armenian Horizons TV, is also with Armenian National Committee of America, and she continue to press her points, and asked Fein if he didn't have a conflict of interest in this case. She had earlier told me that Fein was a Board member of the Turkish Coalition of America, Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and legal counsel for Assembly of Turkish American Associations. She wondered if it was appropriate for Fein to represent Schmidt, since he himself could be called to testify, as a witness on behalf of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
Chouldjian had told me that he's been flying around the country, essentially trying to deny that the genocide ever occurred, has sued the state of Massachusetts to put Armenian genocide "denialist" material in text books, is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting out an article last year called "State of Denial" which, she says, focused on Turkish interests trying to block Armenian Genocide resolution from being passed.
Fein left very quickly thereafter, so I didn't get a chance to ask him if he, himself, recognized what he called, several times, "the Armenian genocide."
Chouldjian later told Edmonds of Fein's connections to those organizations, several of whom came up in the deposition, apparently. Edmonds had no idea Fein was allied with those organizations.
Michael Kohn, Edmonds attorney, working on behalf of the National Whistleblower Center made his statement to say he's "glad her testimony has finally count out...It's been many years in the making. We're delighted that the Justice Department did not intervene and allowed the testimony to go forward." He said it was "a breath of fresh air from the previous administration." He didn't "think it would have happened with the previous administration."
He was not sure when the transcript of the session would be released. New information today, he said, including naming persons by name and with a great deal of specifics. NWC would review the testimony and disseminate it publicly as soon as possible.
Krikorian stated: "We came here to get the sworn testimony of a very very credible witness in defense against a current Congresswoman. And then, beyond that, doing what is right for the country, which is why I'm running. I plan to win this case, and I plan to win this election," he said.
He said there is an Ohio Election Commission preliminary meeting on Aug. 13th, and a hearing on Sept 3rd, and that he would look at releasing both video and transcript thereafter.
Edmonds, however, seemed to suggest that the video tape, at least, might be released in full sooner.
Here comes a bombshell or two...
At the venue, Edmonds said that she named names and details on all of the Congress members noted on her "State Secrets Gallery" page. And then some.
She said she told them about "Mr. [Marc] Grossman and Brewster Jennings...And the real story about them, not the crap they got from the media."
I was unable to follow up that statement with a question, before she got into a cab, but was able to track her down on her cell thereafter.
First, I asked if she specified whether the sitting bi-sexual, married Congresswoman who had been taped sleeping with a woman, without knowing, and then bribed by Turkish interests with the tape, to vote against the Armenian Genocide resolution had been a Democrat or a Republican. She said she is a Democrat, and that she testified to that during her deposition. (See Krikorian's long statement above for more details on that woman.)
Second, I asked about the "real" story on Brewster Jennings, as opposed to the "crap...from the media" as she mentioned at the venue.
"Basically," she said, "I told them how [third-ranking State Dept. official in the Bush Admin and former Ambassador to Turkey] Marc Grossman disclosed" that Brewster Jennings was a CIA front company to the target of an FBI investigation. "And it was under oath and that some lives may have been lost."
"Novak has nothing to do with it. Wilson has nothing to do with it. Valerie Plame has nothing to do with it. The whole operation has to do with something totally different and it had to do with the American Turkish Council and the Turkish clients who were about to hire Brewster Jennings as an analyst ... and Grossman found out about it, and tipped off his diplomatic contact who was a target of the FBI counter-intelligence, and that person notified the ISI [Pakistani intelligence agency], etc."
She says that Brewster Jenning was then "dismantled as soon as the FBI notified the CIA," after which "FBI requested CIA to do a damage assessment, to see if lives would be lost."
All of this, she re-iterated, was "long before, three years before," Novak outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative in his newspaper column.
Brewster Jennings was "absolutely" dismantled in August of 2001.
"Grossman and [Richard] Armitage, they are the only two people involved. Later on Cheney and his people may have used it, but it had nothing to do with those other things, [Brewster Jennings] was completely destroyed and gone by the summer of 2001."
For those not fully up on Edmonds' story, her job at the FBI was to listen to wiretaps in the counter-intel department, to translate foreign targets caught on those taps. Presumably, that's where her details on the destruction of Brewster Jennings comes from. She was hired by the agency shortly after 9/11.
Bombshell enough for ya? Let's see if anyone in the corporate media bothers to agree, and/or pick up on this --- now that it's officially "on the record" and, as Edmonds took pains to point out: under oath!
Here endeth today's live-blogging session. We hope to be hitting the road this afternoon (we were supposed to go on "vacation" today, but have had to put things off for this), so if anyone feels like tipping us some gas money, to make up for three hours sleep and today's marathon coverage, we'd much appreciate it!
The DoJ is now jumping into action, at least on behalf of covering the FBI's rear, if not yet to issue any "states secrets" claims to stop the scheduled testimony of FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in D.C. tomorrow morning in the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) case of Schmidt v. Krikorian.
Tonight Arthur Goldberg of the DoJ's civil division sent a letter to the OEC's Executive Director Philip C. Richter, and Richter has replied. Both letters are downloadable below, and the text is posted there as well.
In short, the DoJ has informed the OEC that Edmonds has "not complied with the procedures for obtaining authorization from the FBI, her former employer, prior to making any disclosure relating to information that she acquired in the course of her work for the FBI. Therefore, she is not authorized to testify at the deposition."
Edmonds and her attorneys argued earlier today in their letter to the FBI (see today's earlier story and documents) that her employment agreements do not preclude her from answering a lawful subpoena, which they consider this to be, nor further do those agreements require approval from the FBI for oral, versus written, testimony. She was subpoenaed earlier this week on behalf of candidate David Krikorian, who is defending himself in an OEC "false statements" claim by U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH-2nd).
The DoJ further claims in its letter that the OEC's subpoena is not enforceable, because the deposition is to take place outside of Ohio.
In response, the OEC has said it will not enforce the subpoena, but it has not withdrawn it, either. Thus, it seems, Krikorian is still within his rights to carry out the deposition at this time, and Edmonds tells The BRAD BLOG she plans on being there in the morning to answer it.
As we reported earlier today, the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense & Education Fund, representing Edmonds, issued a statement [PDF] today blasting the FBI and DoJ's attempts to block Edmonds' testimony as "censorship" and trying to "silence [a] whistleblower."
The Bush Administration's DoJ had twice invoked the "state secrets" privilege in order to gag Edmonds, to keep her from testifying on matters they argued were of national security. So far, however, the Obama Administration's DoJ has failed to re-invoke that privilege, though it's possible it still could do so prior to tomorrow's testimony.
In a brief conversation with Edmonds moments ago, she re-iterated her belief that the "MSM will be a no-show tomorrow," and therefore says "citizen journalists are needed" to cover what may happen at the deposition. Both she and Krikorian, as well as attorneys from all sides, will be available to answer questions from media --- both corporate and citizen --- before and after the scheduled deposition tomorrow. It is slated to begin at 10:30am Saturday morning (8/8/09) at the National Whistleblowers Center, 3238 P St. NW, in Washington D.C..
The BRAD BLOG has obtained both the FBI's response to FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' notice of her intention to give a deposition this Saturday in response to a subpoena she received in a case before the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC). We've also been given exclusive access to her attorneys' response in turn, which is to be officially released later this afternoon.
The FBI stated its objection to Edmonds' plans to testify in a two-page letter [PDF] on Thursday, sent to Edmonds' attorney Stephen Kohn, at the National Whistleblowers Legal Defense & Education Fund. Edmonds and her attorneys, however, in their own two-page letter [PDF], say the objections raised so far by the agency are not sufficient to block Edmonds from "truthfully answer[ing] questions while under oath pursuant to a lawful subpoena" on Saturday morning in D.C. as scheduled.
Their press release [PDF], to be issued publicly later today, accuses the FBI and DoJ of attempting "censorship" and trying to "silence [a] whistleblower."
As we reported in detail on Wednesday, Edmonds' attorneys had notified the Department of Justice earlier this week, in a hand-delivered letter of declaration [PDF], that she intended to testify in the pending Schmidt v. Krikorian case about the information she has concerning infiltration of the U.S. Government by agents of Turkey. She informed the DoJ of her intentions to move forward, unless the DoJ re-invoked the "state secrets" claim that the Bush Administration had twice used to gag any public testimony, her own whistleblower suit, and all other disclosures in regard to information she was privy to during her employ as a linguistics specialist with the FBI following 9/11. So far, the DoJ has not done so.
As of this afternoon, Edmonds tells The BRAD BLOG she still "absolutely" plans to testify...
Unless the Dept. of Justice re-invokes their twice-invoked "state secrets privilege" claim in order to once again gag former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, her attorneys have notified the department by hand-delivered, sworn letter of declaration [PDF] this week, that she intends to give a deposition, open to the media [Updated: see bottom of article for details], in response to a subpoena this Saturday in Washington D.C..
Edmonds has confirmed her intentions to answer any questions asked of her during the sworn proceedings, fully and publicly, during conversations with The BRAD BLOG this week. She notes that her agreement with her former employer, the FBI --- who fired her illegally after she filed whistleblower allegations about corruption and foreign infiltration in the linguistics department --- includes certain non-disclosure requirements. However, those requirements do not preclude her answering to a legally issued court subpoena.
The subpoena and request for sworn deposition is part of a case now pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in which Ohio's Republican U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) has filed a complaint against her 2008 independent challenger, David Krikorian who Schmidt has charged distributed false statements about her during last year's campaign.
The resulting testimony, if it indeed occurs this weekend, could be far more explosive than either Schmidt or Krikorian might have ever guessed...