The Ann Coulter Voter Fraud case, which we've been covering for more than a year (see our Special Coverage Page here, including her fraudulent Voter Registration Form, the complaint that started it all, and much more) has taken several bizarre twists this morning as Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet once again steps up with several fresh scoops in the matter, and The BRAD BLOG, who, as of today's article, has now become a corollary in the story, has an exclusive detail or two of our own to offer on the heels of this morning's Post report.
First, Lambiet reports that the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, which had been investigating the matter, has closed the case after an FBI agent interceded on Coulter's behalf. The PBSO had been investigating Coulter's fraudulent, knowing use of the wrong address on her voter registration form, a third-degree felony, and the fact that she subsequently, knowingly voted at the wrong precinct.
Second, the reason offered by the FBI man for Coulter's use of a phony address on her form --- actually that of her Palm Beach County real estate agent --- was because of claims that she was being "stalked" by a conservative BRAD BLOG guest blogger!
After the FBI intercession, as Lambiet reports, the PBSO investigator shut down the probe "without interviewing Coulter; a Realtor, whose Indian Road address Coulter used [on her fraudulent voter registration form]; or neighbors of Coulter's Seabreeze homestead."
The BRAD BLOG has previously shown that, in fact, Coulter had knowingly lied on her voter registration form, signing next to an "oath" swearing that "All information on this form is true" and that she understood "if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years."
Once the issue was reported originally by Lambiet, Coulter went about lying about it to the media and at public appearances, claiming she didn't even live in Florida, as Michelle Pilecki, who picked up on Lambiet's item today, had previously reported at Huffington Post. Nonetheless, property records and other evidence we've published at The BRAD BLOG, including an affidavit from Republican poll worker James Whited, show conclusively that Coulter lied on her voter registration form, and then knowingly committed voter fraud when she voted at the wrong precinct in 2006.
"We stand by our detective's work," a PBSO spokesman told Lambiet in today's report. "Based on the nature of the allegations, she did as much as she could."
But this gets a lot more bizarre, so keep reading...
The BRAD BLOG spoke this morning with the "stalker" in question, as named by Lambiet, longtime Coulter critic, and founder of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Dan Borchers, who tells us that "Ann Coulter used a false allegation as a 'get out of jail free card'" on her voter fraud charges.
He also tells us something that Lambiet didn't mention in his report: The FBI man in question, Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, was Coulter's former boyfriend!
Lambiet, who spoke with Borchers for his piece, didn't report that allegation, but hinted that something wasn't adding up in Fitzgerald's intercession in the matter. He wonders why an FBI profiler from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, "who went after the Unabomber [would] take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?"
Fitzgerald wouldn't reply to Lambiet, but he reports that after the Post contacted the bureau for comment on the matter, the FBI "immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement."
She declined to say whether Fitzgerald acted on his personal behalf or as an FBI agent or on someone else's orders.
County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called "FBI intrusion."
"This doesn't bode well in terms of the public's impression that celebrities receive preferential treatment," Anderson said. "I'm curious about how anyone can justify the FBI's intrusion."
Anderson and Lambiet aren't the only ones dubious about the FBI's intervention on behalf of Coulter or the excuse that a "stalker" led her to use her realtor's address on her voter registration form....
Coulter also used the wrong address on her Florida driver's license, also a third-degree felony, as well, as detailed by a City of Palm Beach Police Department report on the matter. The PBPD had originally been asked to investigate the matter by Anderson, and confirmed two apparent felonies as well as a first-degree misdemeanor, but declined to press charges, claiming the events occurred outside of their jurisdiction.
"Sounds like a load of bull to me," legal expert Gregg P. Miller, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, told us. "If she were trying to avoid a stalker, she would not have purchased her house in her own name (she'd have used a trust or an LLC)."
Miller has been following the matter closely via our reports and says that the behavior of Coulter --- who is an attorney herself and member of the New York bar --- from a legal perspective is an embarrassment. "I teach legal ethics, and I believe that Ms. Coulter disgraces the legal profession with nearly everything she says."
"Fitzgerald was Ann Coulter's boyfriend in 1998 and 1999," Borchers told The BRAD BLOG, "And since then, she has used him as her personal FBI resource for her own purposes."...
Borchers was contacted in 1998 by the FBI and had a "five minute interview with them" shortly after he says he began handing out fliers in the DC area titled "WANTED: The Truth About Ann Coulter," seeking tips on the rightwing celebrity. Feeling she has betrayed the Conservative movement with her anti-Conservative behavior, rhetoric, and tactics, Borchers has long been collecting information for a biography of Coulter. He has created several short videos outlining what he sees as her hypocritical use of Christianity and a her persistent use of hate-speech and death-threats in her books, columns, and personal appearances.
"There were never any charges filed, and I never heard from the FBI again," Borchers told us. He says he has additional information pinpointing Fitzgerald as Coulter's boyfriend at the time.
In October of 1998, the Washington Post media critic, Howard Kurtz interviewed Coulter in conjunction with the release of her book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. Kurtz reported that "Coulter seems to flit from one relationship to the next," describing her recent breakup with Bob Guccione, Jr., the son of the Penthouse magazine publisher. "Now she's involved with an FBI agent," he reported.
Additional evidence obtained by The BRAD BLOG, indicates that Coulter's Florida voter fraud charges may not be the first time her man at the FBI may have interceded on her behalf...
Borchers has guest blogged for us on a number of occassions, detailing Coulter's hypocrisy, hate-speech, and long history of "elimination rhetoric." He also covered the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for us in 2006 (His coverage of CPAC '06: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) He was also a registered guest at this year's CPAC convention, but was thrown out by Coulter's bodyguards, prompting him to file a criminal assault complaint which may also have been interceded in by Fitzgerald, as indicated by a letter sent to Borchers with his refund for the event.
Coulter has, for years, been CPAC's keynote speaker and star attraction, frequently closing the three day event with her address. This year, she infamously described John Edwards as a "faggot" during her appearance. Her address was not included in CPAC's video collection of "The Best of CPAC 2007," as we recently reported.
The assault complaint was filed by Borchers with the DC Metropolitan Police after he was hustled out of the event, where he claims that "Coulter's goons" assaulted him, as well as both physically and verbally threatened him.
After Borchers's complaint was filed, Detective Kathy Jackson of the DC Metropolitan Police presented an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant for Coulter's two bodyguards to Assistant U.S. Attorney, Anita Larue. One of the bodyguards was Floyd Resnick of New York Close Protection Services, who is a personal body guard for Coulter, and also in charge of security for the CPAC event. The name of the other is unknown, though Borchers has given photographs of the man to both us and the police.
Larue, however, told Jackson she had declined to issue an arrest warrant "because of insubstantial evidence that the alleged offense occurred," according to Jackson's April 16, 2007, email.
Apparently, according to Borchers, there were two physical incidents at CPAC that day, both of them caught on video tape. Yet CPAC gave a tape of the other incident to the police --- the one which didn't include Borchers.
"CPAC has refused to turn over the other tape, which of course I'm on, since I was at the center of the entire scuffle!" Borchers has also given us a photograph of the videographer he claims had recorded the entire event.
But Coulter's FBI man Fitzgerald may have interceded in that event as well. After the event, Borcher was sent a letter by CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale --- who also happens to be Coulter's publicist, according to Borchers --- along with a refund to the event. The first CC listed on the letter is to "John Fitzgerald, Federal Bureau of Investigations," followed by Resnick, and two employees from the Omni Shoreham Hotel where the event was held.
More details on the CPAC allegations were posted here. The complete letter from De Pasquale is posted at the bottom of this article.
Told you this was going to get even more bizarre. But hang on, the twists get even stranger and/or more ironic still...
Another BRAD BLOG guest blogger, Lydia Cornell, also comes in to play in this matter, given that she received a number a death threats, and visits to her home after Coulter herself had posted Cornell's unlisted family phone number on her own, well-trafficked, website.
"Coulter claims she has a stalker in my friend Dan Borchers, a conservative Christian and one of the kindest, most moral people I know. Nothing could be further from the truth." Cornell wrote to us via email this morning after we asked her for comment on the Post piece.
Cornell, a liberal Christian, had written an investigative piece for The BRAD BLOG in November of 2005 entitled "Death is Sexier Than Sex (to Ann Coulter)." The article followed up on a fundraiser appearance by Coulter for the Alachua Republican Party, where the rightwing idealogue had called for the repression of free speech --- for Democrats --- adding that she was "not a big fan of the First Amendment."
"Who's the real stalker?" Cornell asked.
"Ann Coulter posted my personal, unlisted home family phone number on the front page of her website and kept it up for an entire year. She launched her attack dogs on me with the cryptic admonition: 'Death is sexier than Lydia Cornell...wait until I tell her about the death camps I have planned for liberals!' As a result, I received death threats, people coming to my door, our trash cans were lit on fire...and my children had the wits scared out of them when they opened the door and caught someone in a skull cap going through our mail."
Cornell, who now co-hosts a progressive radio program and was the former star of the 1980's Ted Knight TV series Too Close for Comfort, had sent an email to Coulter asking for comment before her piece was filed at The BRAD BLOG. She made the mistake of including her phone number as a courtesy, which Coulter then posted on her website in retaliation after the article was published. She wrote about the incident here shortly after it had first occurred.
Borchers points out that "leaking the name of an incident person, as 'a stalker' is just unconscionable."
"As far as I know, there is no investigation against me, as no charges have ever been filed, and I haven't heard from the FBI since that five minute interview nearly ten years ago."
"And even if there were an ongoing investigation, the FBI is not supposed to release names of those being investigated," Borchers said. "I'm an innocent person here, and he leaked my name here, with this charge...it's unbelievable."
Lambiet reports that PB County Election Supervisor Anderson is reviewing the PBSO report before deciding whether or not to bring Coulter's voter fraud charges to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Previously, Lambiet had reported that the Florida State Prosecutor had declined to take the case, perhaps feeling burned, as the columnist posited, on the Rush Limbaugh narcotics charges he had brought. Limbaugh lives in Palm Beach County as well.
See our special coverage page on Ann Coulter's Voter Fraud for more details, and all of the twists and turns in this entire story. But keep in mind, as The BRAD BLOG has reported in perhaps hundreds of articles, thousands of phony charges of "voter fraud" --- as distinct from Election Fraud --- have been declared by Republicans for years with only a handful of them actually having any merit or evidence to them. Among the few that have been "successfully" prosecuted, several appear to be heartbreaking abuses of the justice system, as brought down on a few folks who didn't know they weren't allowed to either register or vote, as detailed in an excellent recent NYTimes piece by Ian Urbina. ProjectVote's recent landmark report by Barnard professor Lorraine Minnite on "The Politics of Voter Fraud" [PDF] exposes the groundwork for the entire insipid scam. Indeed, those same unfounded GOP charges of "voter fraud" have been at the very heart of the entire, ongoing U.S. Attorney Purge saga.
And yet, here we have an actual, documented case of voter fraud, committed by one of the GOP's top superstars, and so far, not a single charge has been brought against her.
While a man who has apparently been charged with nothing has been named in a mainstream media outlet, being described as a "stalker" by law enforcement officials.
We suspect this story will continue...
UPDATE 11/14/07: Supervisor Anderson dubious of "stalker" claims, was never contacted by the PBSO about closed case. Fresh BRAD BLOG Exclusive now posted here...
The February 24, 2007 letter from CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale, listing FBI Agent John Fitzgerald as a CC, follows...