August 15, 2008
From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Edwards Finally Admits Extramarital Affair – Did He Violate the Law, Too?
Former Democratic North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards finally admitted his extramarital affair with a campaign consultant, a story he once denounced as “tabloid trash.”
In an interview with ABC’s Bob Woodruff, Edwards attempted to explain why he cheated on his wife who was battling breast cancer at the time of the affair. Edwards claimed his rise to power “fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want…You’re invincible…And there – and there will be no consequences.”
He should have added, “…as long as you don’t get caught.”
Bill Clinton must be proud, as Edwards truly seems to be his immoral protégé.
Thanks to the persistence of The National Enquirer, which broke the story last year, there have been consequences – at least in the short term. According to The Associated Press:
John Edwards lost a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention. He likely blew a chance at a possible Cabinet post in a Barack Obama administration. And he may very well have lost any hope of being the voice for America’s poor and forgotten.
Despite admitting to the affair Edwards continues to cling to his denial that he fathered a child out of wedlock with his mistress, Rielle Hunter. Edwards claims he and Hunter ended the affair in 2006 and were not involved when the child was conceived. The National Enquirer, however, will not back down one bit from its contention that Edwards and Hunter were involved long after 2006. According to the Enquirer, Edwards “restarted the illicit romance after confessing to his wife” and was definitely involved when the child was conceived.
While the name of the father was left off the birth certificate, loyal Edwards campaign operative Andrew Young claims he fathered the child, leading many to speculate that Edwards may have convinced Young to take the fall. Edwards claims he’d be willing to take a paternity test, but Hunter says she will not consent.
And what about the money trail?
Edwards’ former national finance Chairman Fred Baron paid for Hunter’s moving expenses last year and is reportedly still paying upwards of $15,000 per month to Hunter. Given the monies seemingly paid out by his contributor, PAC, and presidential campaign (all for his mistress’s benefit), a criminal and FEC investigation is in order.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about politicians and their confessions it’s this: A politician will only admit as much about a scandal as they have to. As details continue to unfold, Edwards may have some more confessing to do.
Kudos to The National Enquirer, by the way, for holding Edwards to account, something much of the rest of the media was reluctant to do against this liberal politician.
Judicial Watch Uncovers Police Records of Illegal Alien Triple-Murder Suspect
A couple of weeks ago, I told you that Judicial Watch had launched an investigation into the triple murder involving illegal alien Edwin Ramos, who gunned down Tony Bologna and his two sons Michael and Matthew with an AK-47 following a minor traffic incident in San Francisco, California. That investigation has already yielded some interesting discoveries.
According to SFPD records obtained by Judicial Watch, pursuant to the provisions of the California Public Records Act, Ramos was identified by authorities “based on . . . numerous documented contacts” as being an active member of the MS-13 street gang.
The records, which document the fact that Ramos is not a U.S. citizen, also confirm press reports regarding a previous March 30, 2008 arrest related to weapons and gang charges. San Francisco prosecutors declined to charge Ramos for those crimes and he was released on April 2, 2008, a couple of months before the murder. Immigration and Customs Enforcement claims it was never made aware of Ramos and the alleged crimes.
(As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, San Francisco is a sanctuary city and has implemented policies that prevent police officers from freely communicating with federal immigration officials.)
Because the Bologna family slayings is still considered an open investigation, Ramos’ records related to the triple murder were not produced to Judicial Watch. Likewise, Ramos’ juvenile criminal record remains sealed, although reports in the San Francisco Chronicle revealed that Ramos committed two (2) felonies at the age of 17 – a gang-related assault and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman.
Clearly, Ramos was a dangerous character, who should have been kicked out of the country. Instead, thanks to San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city, he was allowed to roam the streets in search of his next victims, which he found on June 22nd.
By the way, if you haven’t already, please check out Judicial Watch’s brand new Internet site (www.sanctuarybusters.org) dedicated to fighting illegal alien sanctuary policies across the United States. Just click here. These “don’t ask, don’t tell” sanctuary policies protect illegal alien criminals and put American citizens at risk. These policies must end. It is a matter of life and death.
I should also mention that in addition to its investigation of the Ramos incident, Judicial Watch is mounting a legal challenge (in the appellate court) to San Francisco’s sanctuary policies (Fonseca v. Fong, Case No. A120206).
Chinese Corruption and Abuse Hangs Over Olympics
Even with high television ratings and some amazing athletic performances (see American swimmer Michael Phelps), a dark cloud has hung over the Olympics from the outset. Olympic officials were roundly criticized for selecting Beijing as the location for the Olympics due to the country’s shameless record on human rights. And even before the torch was lit, the Chinese proved their critics right by abusing and intimidating members of the press and Chinese pro-democracy activists.
Consider this example from an August 14th post on Businessweek.com:
A British journalist covering a Tibetan independence protest just outside the Olympics venues was roughed up yesterday. According to the Foreign Correspondents Club of China, the journalist, John Ray of Independent Television News, ‘was pinned down by police, dragged along the floor and pushed into a police van. The authorities also confiscated his equipment, pulled off his shoes, filmed him and accused him of trying to unfurl a Tibetan flag.’ He denies the accusation, saying he was only trying to cover the protest.
All told, there have been five incidents blocking foreign reporters from reporting since August 7th, including also Associated Press and Scandinavian journalists.
Chinese pro-democracy protesters, meanwhile, continue to be arrested, harassed and intimidated by Chinese security officials. Most of the parks pre-approved by the Chinese government for public protests remain empty, and no wonder. One Chinese pro-democracy activist was removed from her home in the dead of the night and thrown in a “detention center” for “disturbing social order” after having the gall to simply submit a protest application.
Of course, in reading these stories, I cannot help but be reminded of the Chinagate scandal pursued by Judicial Watch in the 1990’s. As you may recall, the Bill Clinton and his administration sold out our national security to Chinese government officials in exchange for millions of dollars of illegal campaign contributions to the Clinton campaigns and to the Democratic National Committee. It got so bad that the Clintons even had a Chinese government official or two (including a Chinese government arms dealer) over for White House fundraisers.
A Senate report documented a Chinese communist plan to influence our elections with illegal campaign contributions. Many Clinton fundraisers were thought to be associated with the communist Chinese government, including Clinton Commerce/DNC official John Huang and Maria Hsia (the woman who ran Al Gore’s Buddhist nun fundraiser). A major illegal funder of the Clinton campaigns was the Riady family, also thought to be Chinese communist agents.
(Judicial Watch got the ball rolling on Chinagate by uncovering Huang in its litigation/investigation into a Clinton administration bribery scheme related to Commerce Department fundraisers.)
Johnny Chung, a former Clinton donor and Hillary friend who was working with a Chinese general to give contributions to the Clintons, put it this way: “The White House is like a subway. You have to put in the coins to open the gates.” (Johnny, a Judicial Watch client, was one of the few to come clean about the scandal.)
As you watch the Olympics (or boycott them), please remember that piece of history about China’s successful attempt to subvert our democracy.
Judicial Watch Launches Investigation of Effort to Intimidate Conservatives
We are also concerned by an American version of political intimidation. According the August 8 edition of The New York Times, Accountable America, a liberal group, plans to send a letter “to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions…The warning letter is intended as a first step, alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.
“The group is also hoping to be able to respond if an outside conservative group broadcasts a television advertisement attacking Senator Barack Obama, or another Democratic candidate, by running commercials exposing the donors behind the advertisements.”
Attempts to intimidate individuals from participating in the presidential campaign can be a violation of federal law. A key federal civil rights law (42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)), popularly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, may be applicable if “two or more persons conspire to prevent by force, intimidation, or threat, any citizen who is lawfully entitled to vote, from giving his support or advocacy in a legal manner, toward or in favor of the election of any lawfully qualified person as an elector for President or Vice President, or as a Member of Congress of the United States; or to injure any citizen in person or property on account of such support or advocacy.”
Threats and intimidation have no place in our democratic elections and are a violation of the law. This new front group, Accountable America, seems to have crossed a legal line. If you get this threatening letter, please let us know.
Until next week…
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